1st U.S. Soldier in Korea Catches Coronavirus

  • By Yang Seung-sik, Kim Su-kyung

    February 27, 2020 12:07

    A U.S. soldier here has tested positive for coronavirus, the first member of the U.S. Forces Korea to catch the disease, USFK headquarters said on its website Wednesday.

    The new diagnosis came as the USFK was already on high alert after the wife of a retired soldier was confirmed to be infected on Monday.

    The USFK said it "is implementing all appropriate control measures to help control the spread of COVID-19 and remains at risk level 'high' for [the] USFK peninsula-wide as a prudent measure to protect the force."

    A man wears a mask as he walks by U.S. Army base Camp Walker in Deagu on Wednesday. /Yonhap

    The 23-year old soldier, who is in self-quarantine at his off-base home, had been stationed at Camp Carroll in Chilgok, North Gyeongsang Province since last Friday.

    But on Monday he visited Camp Walker in nearby Daegu, a hotbed of new infections. The woman who tested positive for the disease the same day had visited the camp twice before the diagnosis.

    U.S. soldiers are confined to their bases for all but essential off-installation activities and social events. A USFK spokesman said it is unclear whether the patient is the first U.S. soldier in the world to become infected with coronavirus but added the USFK has no plan to evacuate its dependents to the U.S.

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