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Number of coronavirus-infected US troops arriving in South Korea mounts

A service member receives a coronavirus test kit within hours of arriving at Osan Air Base, South Korea, Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

MATTHEW KEELER/STARS AND STRIPES

By KIM GAMEL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: July 16, 2020

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CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — The number of coronavirus-infected American service members traveling to South Korea from the United States mounted with 14 new cases over the past week, the military said Thursday.

South Korea has expressed concern over the growing numbers, although U.S. Forces Korea insists that mandatory testing and two-week quarantine procedures have helped contain the problem.

“None of the arrivals have interacted with anyone residing in the local community due to USFK’s aggressive preventative control measures,” the command said.

Nine troops and two dependents tested positive after landing at Osan Air Base on government-chartered flights between July 11-15, USFK said in a press release.

Three other service members tested positive after arriving on separate commercial flights on July 11 and 13, it said.

“All individuals were tested prior to entering quarantine, and have since been transferred to an isolation facility designated for confirmed COVID-19 cases on either Camp Humphreys or Osan Air Base,” it added.

The shuttle buses that carried the affected troops to quarantine barracks and the rooms they occupied all had been disinfected, it said.

The report raised to 88 the total number of cases affiliated with USFK.

The Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said authorities were working with the U.S. to prevent the virus from spreading.

“We’re keeping an eye on it at present,” the agency told Stars and Stripes.

gamel.kim@stripes.com
Twitter: @kimgamel

Service members and families exit the Patriot Express after arriving at Osan Air Base, South Korea, Tuesday, July 14, 2020.
MATTHEW KEELER/STARS AND STRIPES