March 17, 2020 / 5:13 PM / 16 days ago

US military says service members with coronavirus doubles, cites change in accounting

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) - The number of service members with coronavirus has doubled to 36, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, citing an improved accounting method.

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Chris Mitchell said that in addition to the service members, eight civilians, 12 dependents and three contractors had also tested positive.

“There is an increase in numbers today due to a change in reporting lanes from the combatant commands to the services,” a U.S. defense official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said.

“With this change, our reported numbers are catching up,” the official said.

Reporting by Idrees Ali, Editing by Franklin Paul

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