A South Korean Navy sailor has tested positive for the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in an initial examination, Yonhap reported on Feb. 20 citing government officials.
The final test result will be available on Feb. 21 and if confirmed, it will mark the first confirmed case among service personnel in South Korea, the report noted.
According to officials, the sailor in his 20s visited his hometown, Daegu, 300 kilometers southeast of Seoul, from Feb. 13-18. Upon returning to the base on the southern island of Jeju, he showed symptoms, such as coughing, prompting the authorities to immediately quarantine him at the base. He is reportedly admitted to a Jeju hospital.
The report has sparked concerns the virus might have been spread into military barracks.
On Feb. 20, South Korea reported the nation’s first death of a coronavirus patient, with the total number of confirmed cases surpassing 100.
Later in the day, Defense Minister Jeong Kyeong-doo held a meeting with top military officials to discuss ways to contain the spread of the new coronavirus at the ministry in Seoul.