|▲ Soldiers wearing masks (Source: Yonhap News)|
On the 27th, Ha tae-gyeong Rep claimed that president Moon Jae-in ordered the Ministry of National Defense soldiers under the age of 30, to live without masks on some military bases from late August to mid-September, after being vaccinated against COVID-19. Through the disclosure of documents related to the meeting with commander and staff, and the Korean presidential residence, he revealed specific instructions, describing the issue of No-Mask experiments in the barracks as a biotest, criticizing the ministry's guidelines.
Ha tae-gyeong Rep claimed, "President Moon ordered all military commanders to carry out the pilot operation in consultation with the quarantine authorities. As it could be a pilot case and a research case for observation and testing the effects of mass immunity, mutational responsiveness, and mortality”. “In other words, if the vaccinated soldiers take off their masks, the government should observe whether soldiers catch the virus again or die. It will be used as a demonstration case”, he said. The Ministry of National Defense said that the military personnel's vaccination rate for COVID-19 reached 94 percent, reflecting the judgment that they exceeded the standard for achieving mass immunity in the unit. However, it was revealed that the target of the, ‘No-Mask’, quarantine demonstration, was limited to soldiers under the age of 30, who live on the military base, except for commuters. This raised suspicions that the target was ordinary soldiers. The Ministry of National Defense said, "We asked the health authorities to consider preemptive quarantine mitigation measures, but we have not even started discussing details, such as when to apply them”.
In this regard, Choi Jin-young, a second grade student majoring in School of Civil & Environmental & Chemical Engineering, said, "Even if I get a vaccine, there is a possibility of getting infected with COVID-19, and it is still early to implement, Operation No-Mask, because wearing masks can prevent other diseases, as well as COVID-19”. Kim Ye-bin, a sophomore in the Department of Business Administration, also argued that the, “‘No-Mask’, for vaccinated soldiers should not be implemented because vaccination does not guarantee 100 percent prevention of the COVID-19 virus”.
It has been a long time since masks have become an integral part of our daily lives, due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic. We have gotten used to living with masks, but there's still discomfort. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a, ‘No-Mask’, system to relieve the inconvenience of the people, if the ‘Operation No-Mask’, trial period is COVID-19. However, soldiers are also our citizens and must be protected by the nation. Thus, an accurate investigation of various types of vaccines and COVID-19 immunity should be carried out first, not a hasty implementation of a, ‘No-mask’, system. We hope to find a way to observe the effects of community immunity, mutational responsiveness, and mortality rate as soon as possible, so that we can find a safe daily life, as it was before the outbreak of COVID-19.
By Jung In-hee, cub-reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
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