The number of infected sailors on a South Korean destroyer on an anti-piracy mission off East Africa has soared to 247, the largest cluster for the country’s military during the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Defense Ministry said Monday two military aircraft have been sent to bring back all 301 sailors aboard the destroyer Munmu the Great.
Authorities suspect the outbreak may have started when the destroyer docked in the region to load goods in late June. None of the crew has been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Health officials have said the crew are all in relatively good condition.
On Monday, South Korea reported 1,252 new coronavirus cases. It was the 13th straight day for South Korea to register more than 1,000 new cases.
Two multi-role aerial tankers are bringing the new crew and will then take home 301 sailors aboard the 4,400-ton-class destroyer, Joint Chiefs of Staff and Health Ministry officials said.