USFK raises warning level for all areas in S. Korea

The US Forces Korea (USFK) on Monday raised the health protection level against the Covid-19 pandemic for all areas within South Korea as local infections accelerated.

Effective at 5 a.m. Monday, the USFK heightened the Health Protection Condition Level to Charlie (HPCON C) for all areas in the country, Yonhap News Agency quoted the Forces as saying in a Facebook post.

Under the revised rules, the number of personnel working on bases will be reduced, and the USFK will conduct health checks such as temperature screening on all people entering its military bases.

The decision to raise the HPCON level to all areas within the country came after South Korea’s new COVID-19 cases reached a five-month high of 279 on Sunday, spiking up from 166 on Saturday.

The recent surge in cases has prompted the health authorities to place stricter social distancing guidelines on Seoul and the metropolitan areas, scaling up the national alert level by one notch to Level 2 for two weeks from Sunday.

Five more American service members have tested positive for the virus, according to the USFK on Monday.

The latest figure brought the total number of USFK-related cases to 157.