Seoul, Feb 3 : South Korea Defense Ministry said on Monday that it would postpone its annual military drills for reserve forces, scheduled for early March, due to the coronavirus outbreak. "The defense ministry decided to postpone military drills for the reserve forces in regions scheduled for March 2 as a preventive measure against the further spread of the new coronavirus and hold them after April 17," a representative of the ministry wrote on Twitter.
According to the South Korean Yonhap news agency, the country's reserve forces, which comprise 2.75 million soldiers, will resume their regular training also after April 17. "Around 800 service members have been quarantined either at their residences or military bases, including around 630 people who had contact with those who traveled China, Hong Kong and Macao recently," ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo added, as quoted by the news agency. She also said that about 200 military doctors and other medical personnel had been sent to assist with the quarantine.
The new strain of coronavirus was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December and has since spread to more than 20 countries. The virus has so far killed 361 people and infected over 17,000 others. (UNI)