USA

Coronavirus: First Case Confirmed Among US Soldiers In South Korea

The 23-year-old soldier who contracted COVID-19 is now in self-isolation off-base.

American forces in South Korea have confirmed their first case of coronavirus amongst US personnel.

The 23-year-old soldier who contracted COVID-19 is now in self-isolation off-base.

He had been based in Camp Carroll in a town near Daegu, where 216 of 284 new cases in South Korea have emerged.

The country's authorities and US military health professionals are tracing his contacts to determine if other people may have been exposed.

South Korea’s military has reported 18 cases of COVID-19, prompting the quarantining of nearly 8,000 soldiers.

Bowling alleys, movie theatres and a golf course at four US bases were closed after the soldier's case was confirmed, according to Col Edward Ballanco, commander of the US Army Garrison Daegu.

The national government has committed medical personnel, protective suits and supplies to Daegu in response.

Prime Minister Chung Se-kyun said this week "will be critical in the fight to combat the illness".

The quarantined American service member and visited both Carroll and nearby Camp Walker in recent days.

South Korean authorities and US military health professionals are tracing his contacts to determine if other people may have been exposed.

About 28,500 US troops are stationed in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

South Korea has seen 12 fatalities as a result of coronavirus. 

According to Johns Hopkins University, a total of 57 US cases have been confirmed, with 13 in the UK.

Cover image: 801st Combat Support Hospital in Camp Carroll, South Korea, in 2019 (Picture US Department of Defense).