A South Korean Air Force plane arrives at an unidentified African airport on July 18, 2021, in this photo provided by the defense ministry. South Korea hastily sent two KC-330 multipurpose aerial tankers to bring home all of the South Korean service members belonging to the Cheonghae Unit on an anti-piracy mission off the coast of Africa, right after the unit reported mass COVID-19 infection onboard. (defense ministry)Twenty-nine service members of the Cheonghae unit which reported a massive COVID-19 outbreak while on missions in Africa tested negative and will exit quarantine Tuesday, the defense ministry said.
Last month, a total of 272 sailors of the 301-strong Cheonghae Unit tested positive for the new coronavirus while serving missions in waters off Africa, and all of the unit members returned home weeks ahead of schedule.
Upon arrival, the 29 people who initially tested negative were sent to a Navy facility in the southeastern city of Changwon for a two-week quarantine.
“We conducted final virus tests on the members, and all of them tested negative. They are to exit quarantine at noon today,” a ministry official said.
They will undergo a medical checkup and receive their first dose of COVID-19 vaccines before going on vacation, he added.
Of the confirmed cases, 265 individuals were released from medical facilities on Saturday, and an additional two sailors are also to be released after being fully recovered. The remaining five are in treatment, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)