US military will no longer ban Covid-19 survivors from serving

US soldiers are seen during a military drill amid the coronavirus disease outbreak in Japan, May 21, 2020. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Pentagon on Thursday (May 21) announced that the US military would no longer bar people who had been hospitalised with Covid-19 from serving in its ranks.

Defence Department personnel head Matthew Donovan said he had "rescinded" rules on the matter, which the military had put in place in early May out of concern over long-term respiratory damage from the disease.

"There was some interim and draft guidance... that I rescinded," Donovan told reporters during a press conference.

He noted that the revision was just one part of a larger update and that health professionals would be looking into further recommendations.

However if a new recruit has not yet fully recovered from Covid-19 or is still suffering from ongoing side effects, he or she may not be able to join the armed forces immediately.

Each branch of the military is able to issue waivers concerning the matter.

The US military has suffered a total of 5,888 Covid-19 cases as of Thursday, 129 of which had to be hospitalised and two of which have died.

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