South Korea declares de facto end to MERS

Seoul, July 28 (IANS) South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Monday declared a de facto end to the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Virus (MERS) which has claimed 36 lives since May.

The number of people diagnosed with MERS has remained constant at 186 for the past 23 days, with the release of the last suspected patient on Monday, Yonhap News Agency reported.

“After weighing various circumstances, the medical personnel and the government judge that the people can now be free from worry,” Hwang said.

“I ask the public to shake off all concerns over MERS and to resume normal daily activities, including economic, cultural, leisure and school activities,” the prime minister said.

South Korea reported its first MERS case on May 26. The infected man had carried the virus from the Middle East, where the disease was first identified in 2012.

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