6 USFK-affiliated Americans test positive for new coronavirus
SEOUL, Six American service members tested positive for the new coronavirus upon their arrivals in South Korea this month, the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) said Monday.
Four of them arrived at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, some 70 kilometers south of Seoul, on U.S. government-chartered flights from the U.S. on Aug. 10 and 19, and the two others arrived at Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul, on commercial flights from the U.S. on Aug. 12 and 21, according to the USFK.
All have since been transferred to an isolation facility designated for confirmed COVID-19 cases at the Osan base or Camp Humphreys also located in Pyeongtaek, it added.
“Thorough cleaning of all transportation assets and quarantine rooms has been completed,” USFK said in a statement. “None of the new arrivals have interacted with anyone residing within USFK installations or the local community.”
The latest cases brought the total number of USFK-related infections to 166, and 142 of them were confirmed upon their arrivals here.
USFK said it has not had an internal positive case since mid-April.
South Korea has been struggling to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases, with fresh cases reported Sunday totaling a five-month high of 397. On Monday, the country reported 266 new cases, including 258 local infections, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
The total caseload came to 17,665.
In the wake of the recent spread, the U.S military heightened the health protection level by one notch to the Health Protection Condition Level (HPCON) Charlie, or HPCON C, for all areas in South Korea, which reduces the number of personnel working on bases and implements tougher anti-virus regulations.
Last week, USFK Commander Gen. Robert Abrams also renewed its Public Health Emergency over the new coronavirus for another 90 days until Nov. 18 to maintain the authority to tackle the pandemic, including administering tests and quarantine for all USFK-affiliated personnel.
The commander first declared the emergency in March and renewed it in April and May.
Source: Yonhap News Agency