In South Korea more than 200 Korean primary schools have shut down on Wednesday as authorities struggle to contain an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus that has infected 30 and killed two and triggered widespread fear.

Five new cases were reported overnight, making this the largest outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outside Saudi Arabia, where the virus has killed more than 400 since 2012

South Korea fight with MERS Virus
South Korea fight with MERS Virus

With the help of World Health Organisation (WHO), predicting further infections and the government under fire for its initial response, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye convened an emergency meeting together with top class health officials and medical expertise to map out a comprehensive quarantine strategy to stop this MERS virus earlier.

Around five fresh cases of MERS virus infected were reported overnight, making this the largest outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus outside Saudi Arabia, at where this MARS virus has killed more than 400 lives since 2012. With new infections being reported on a daily basis, the outbreak has caused nationwide public alarm and seen fearful urban residents stocking up on hand sanitizers and face masks.

More than dozens of public events have been cancelled due to the fear of MERS virus, while more than 1,360 people who were exposed directly or indirectly to the virus have been placed under varying levels of quarantine.

Mr. President Park Geun-Hye has already scolded health officials for their “insufficient” initial response, during which one infected man managed to travel to China despite warnings from doctors.

MERS virus, which has no known cure or vaccine still, is considered a deadlier virus but its less infectious cousin of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, which killed hundreds of people when it appeared in Asia country in 2003.

MERS Virus spread over south korea
209 Korean schools have to be closed to prevent students from MERS virus

South Korean education Minister Hwang Woo-Yea says that more than “209 primary schools had temporarily shut down, as he urged regional education heads to ensure student safety.”

“Infection among students should be prevented at any cost … we need far stronger measures at schools than anywhere else,” Hwang added in his statement.

In South Korea two deaths reported so far were of a 58-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man overnight by MERS virus.

The first, or “root” case of MERS virus was a 68-year-old man diagnosed after returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia — was reported on May 20.

“Given the number of clinics and hospitals that cared for the index case, further cases can be expected,” said in a statement by WHO officials from Geneva yesterday.

The health body said it was closely monitoring the outbreak of what it described as an “emerging disease that remains poorly understood.”

This deadlier virus MERS has now infected 1,161 people globally, with 436 deaths.

Still now more than 20 countries have been affected, with most cases in Saudi Arabia.

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