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

The number of infection cases among SDF members in the African country has totaled 21, including four found on Friday and Saturday last week. Some 180 SDF personnel are now in Djibouti for anti-piracy and related operations.

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

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

Meanwhile, Gen. Koji Yamazaki, chief of staff at the Joint Staff, said at a press conference Thursday that four SDF troops in Djibouti dined out without submitting a prior report when they went out on official duties related to procurement on March 25.

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 SDF members there held a party on March 28 including sports and drinking sessions, which was attended by about 130 people.

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