Last week, there were 51 people infected in South Korea. Today, there are 1,146.
The outbreak began in the southern city of Daegu and was centered around the Shincheonji religious group, but the virus appears to have spread now beyond practitioners.
Military cases: 18 South Korean soldiers have been infected, and the country’s defense ministry has placed significant restrictions on soldiers leaving their bases.
US soldier: A US service member stationed in South Korea tested positive for the virus, according to a US Forces Korea statement today.
The soldier is the first US service member to test positive for the novel coronavirus. He is stationed at Camp Carroll, about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) from Daegu, and is currently in self-quarantine as officials track down the people he had been in contact with.
US-Korea military drills: The virus’ spread also prompted South Korea and the United States to scale back joint military drills, according to three US officials.
The three officials said this would be the first major impact of coronavirus on US military readiness, according to the officials. Without the full exercise, the US could lose ground in being able to quickly conduct future operations in a coordinated and highly synchronized manner with South Korea against North Korea in the event of a crisis, one of the officials said.