TOKYO (Sputnik) – About seven thousand tourists have cancelled their trips to South Korea as the country’s Ministry of Health and Welfare reported a rise in the number of people who have caught the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus.
According to the ministry, 35 MERS cases have been confirmed so far.
Two people died from MERS in South Korea on Monday. At least 1,300 people have been quarantined amid the spread of the illness and doctors suspect that almost 400 of them have caught the virus.
The schools closed for a week and are mostly located in the northwestern province of Gyeonggi, where the first of two MERS-related deaths were reported on Monday, the Education Ministry said on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the South Korean government acknowledged that the virus outbreak is a result of insufficient safety measures during hospitalization of the first patients diagnosed with MERS.
Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is a viral respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus (MERS‐CoV). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the typical symptoms of MERS include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
MERS was first reported in 2012 in Saudi Arabia and later spread to other countries.