Seventeen other Japanese SDF soldiers in Djibouti positive for coronavirus

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Seventeen other Japanese Self-Defense Forces soldiers sent to Djibouti have been confirmed to be infected with the new coronavirus, according to the Joint Staff of the Ministry of Defense.

The number of cases of infection among SDF members in the African country has risen to 21, four of which were found on Friday and Saturday last week. Some 180 SDF personnel are currently in Djibouti to combat piracy and related operations.

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Following the confirmation of the first four cases of infection, polymerase chain reaction tests were performed for all other SDF troops in Djibouti, resulting in the discovery of infections among the additional 17 members.

The infected troops have been isolated and are in stable condition, according to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Meanwhile, General Koji Yamazaki, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a press conference on Thursday that four SDF soldiers in Djibouti had dinner without presenting a prior report when they performed official procurement-related duties on March 25.

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Two of the four tested positive for the coronavirus, but it is not known whether their infections were related to the meal, according to Yamazaki.

Yamazaki also said that the SDF members there held a party on March 28, including sports and drinking sessions, in which around 130 people attended.

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