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3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccination for military personnel, to be implemented early beginning on the 20th

efense Minister Suh Wook holds videoconference with main commanders of the entire army
Ordered them to implement strict quarantine at the same level as vigilance operations
Visited an army base on the central front to carry out a special quarantine inspection

3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccination for military pers

3rd dose of COVID-19 vaccination for military pers

Defense Minister Suh Wook ordered major commanders throughout the military to implement 'a thorough quarantine at the same level as vigilance operations' so that COVID-19 can be blocked from the military, and visited an army base on the central front to conduct a special quarantine inspection.

At the 15th COVID-19 video conference with major commanders of the entire army that was held on December 3, Defense Minister Suh pointed out that everyone should return to the basics as if the COVID-19 pandemic was still in its breakout stage, and thoroughly review the military quarantine system once again to fill in any gaps, adding that "as in vigilance operations, the moment one loses vigilance, quarantine will fail."

Topics covered at this conference included △Evaluation of the current situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic inside and outside the military, △Measures for ‘customized quarantine management’ such as strengthening management of those returning from time-off, and △Plans for implementing a third round of vaccinations for military personnel.

Accordingly, the Korean military has decided to implement the 3rd round of vaccinations for military personnel early, from December 20 to January 14 of next year. Military medical institutions which are completely ready earlier than planned will be able to initiate the vaccination even earlier, starting on the 13th in advance. In addition, military personnel returning from their time-off will be temporarily quarantined until they are tested negative in a second gene amplification (PCR) test.

At the conference, Defense Minister Suh stressed the need to ensure the faithful implementation of measures to strengthen quarantine management for elements susceptible to infection and to enhance compliance with quarantine guidelines for soldiers on outings and personal quarantine rules, saying “the quarantine policy should be implemented strictly because of serious issues such as the increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases inside and outside the military and the detection of Omicron, a COVID-19 mutant virus, in Korea.”

He also urged commanders at each level to ensure 'prompt PCR tests for symptomatic patients' and to 'support monitoring and treatment for symptomatic patients and confirmed patients that are hospitalized in the military' with special care in order to prevent the occurrence of an outbreak within the military.

Also, on December 4 Minister Suh visited the recruit training battalion and the GOP unit of the Central Front Army base to conduct a special quarantine inspection for COVID-19 prevention and encourage the soldiers.

Minister Suh himself checked the quarantine management system that is applied when soldiers enter the recruit training battalion, and the current state of quarantine management at the dormitories and convenience facilities for trainees. He emphasized, "We need to clearly recognize the severity of the current situation, and strengthen the military quarantine inspection as well as the customized quarantine management."

He also ordered the military personnel to harmonize quarantine and human rights protection with special attention, mentioning "Living conditions must be carefully taken into account in order to guarantee the human rights and the basic rights of soldiers in quarantine."

After thoroughly examining the GOP unit's readiness for winter operations, Minister Suh requested the soldiers to "dedicate themselves to this vigilant mission, while maintaining a firm mental readiness and strict operational discipline."

By Chul-Hwan, Kim < >

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