USFK regrets no-mask dance parties amid Covid-19 resurgence

The US Forces Korea (USFK) has expressed regret over no-mask dance parties held in the American military bases in South Korea amid the coronavirus resurgence in the country.

“USFK is aware of two recent on-installation events that displayed poor judgment and actions inconsistent with USFK’s core tenets and Covid-19 health protection mitigation measures,” Xinhua news agency quoted the Forces as saying in a statement on Wednesday.

“These recent activities on US Army Garrison Humphreys and Osan Air Base do not reflect USFK’s commitment to mitigating the spread of Covid-19,” the statement said.

The USFK has been under criticism over the dance party held last week at the American bases, in which participants did not wear masks.

Both the US Army Garrison Humphreys and the Osan Air Base are located in Pyeongtaek, 70 km south of Seoul.

The South Korean government tightened its social-distancing rules to the third-highest level last week, before lifting it further to the second-highest this week amid the spike in the Covid-19 cases.

In the latest tally, South Korea reported 686 new confirmed cases for the past 24 hours, raising the total number of infections to 39,432. The death toll stands at 556.

The daily caseload hovered between 400 and 700 in the past two weeks, growing in triple digits for 32 days since November 8.

The combined number of infections among the USFK-affiliated personnel stood at 408 as of Monday.

“USFK has closed both facilities involved in the recent incidents until further notice and will continue to implement mitigation measures to ensure our installations remain consistent with our core tenets and Republic of Korea (ROK) government social distancing measures,” the Forces said.