South Korea reports three more MERS cases

Three new MERS cases brings total number of cases to 169 in South Korea, while Thailand records no new cases

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare reported three more Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) cases on Sunday, taking total number of those infected with the virus in the country to 169, while Thailand announced it has no more cases.

The death toll reached 25 on Saturday in South Korea where the outbreak was first confirmed on May 20, but the number of dead has begun to slack recently, the ministry said on Friday.

The country’s Health Ministry reported its first MERS case on May 20 with the entrance of a 68-year-old South Korean man who travelled Bahrain for farming related business on April 18.

Meanwhile, Thai health officials last week announced its first case after a 75-year-old man from Oman entered the country, seeking for a treatment for a heart condition in Bangkok.

175 people who had been touch with him were quarantined as a measure in Bangkok but no new infection has been reported since.

"We can confirm that there are no new MERS patients," Thai Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told reporters as he was in a tour of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi airport to show all measures have been taken in the country.

Thai tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said tourism had not been affected in Bangkok which fetchs 10 percent of the total country’s income.

The MERS coronavirus is from the same family as the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which left more than 800 people dead and infected about 8,000 people worldwide between 2002-2003.

MERS does not spread from human to human easily but its fatality rate is much higher than SARS, with 38 percent of those infected dying, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

TRTWorld and agencies