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#1 2018-03-13 04:44:11


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A South Korean medical worker (left) wearing protective gear takes a sample from a man in a wheelchair suspected of carrying the MERS virus after he arrived at the emergency section of the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul. South Korea yesterday reported its sixth MERS death. — AFP
SOUTH Korea recorded its sixth death and biggest single-day jump in Middle East Respiratory Syndrome infections yesterday Nike Air Force 1 Mid 07 Blancas Baratas , with 23 new cases in the largest outbreak of the potentially deadly virus outside Saudi Arabia.

From just four cases two weeks ago, the total number of infections now stands at 87, including the six deaths.

The latest fatality was an 80-year-old man who died yesterday morning in a hospital in Daejeon, 140 kilometers south of Seoul, the health ministry said.

The outbreak has triggered widespread public concern in South Korea, with 2 Hombre Nike Air Force 1 Bajas Blancas Baratas ,500 people placed under quarantine orders and nearly 2,000 schools? mostly in Seoul and surrounding Gyeonggi Province, closed.

However, experts say the likelihood of a serious epidemic is remote, given that the MERS virus is not easily transmitted person-to-person.

“The chance of a massive outbreak in South Korea is not high,” said Ho Pak-leung OFF White x Nike Air Force 1 Bajas The Ten Blancas AO4606-100 Baratas , a microbiology expert at the University of Hong Kong. “Rather I think there will be continued transmissions at a low level.”

Of the new cases announced yesterday, most were infected at the Samsung Medical Center in southern Seoul — one of the country’s largest hospitals where nearly 900 patients and staff have now been placed under observation.

A 16-year-old student became the first teenage case, but the education ministry stressed he had contracted the virus while already in hospital, so it was “not possible” that he had infected any classmates.

All the infections so far have been restricted to hospitals.

Criticized for its initial response to the outbreak, the government has vowed “all-out” efforts to curb further spread of the virus, including tracking the mobile phones of those under house quarantine to ensure they stay home.

Several have already been caught sneaking out Botas Nike Air Force 1 Baratas , despite facing fines of up to 3 million won (US$2,670).

Chung Eun-Kyung, a senior official at the Korea Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said those confined to their homes should stay alone in a room and wear a surgical mask when they are interacting with their family members.

Hundreds of public events, school trips and sporting fixtures have been canceled, with cinemas Nike Air Force 1 Flyknit Baratas , theme parks and shopping malls reporting big drops in the number of customers.

Ticket sales at movie theaters fell to 2.46 million for the first week of June, down from 3.85 million a week earlier, according to the Korea Film Council.

Both E-Mart and Lotte Mart, two of the country’s biggest supermarket chains, reported a 12 percent drop in weekly store sales, coupled with a 50 percent surge in online sales.

Those who did venture to the stores were greeted by staff who wiped down the handles of the supermarket trolleys before and after use.

Schools that remained open were screening students before class Nike Air Force 1 Azules Baratas , checking their temperatures and sending home anyone with even a mild fever.

Lee Hyun-Shil, who was taking her son to a kindergarten in Seoul, said she was in “utter shock” over the scale of the outbreak.

“I can’t believe this is happening in South Korea,” Lee said. “I am really worried these days and wonder if it’s OK to use a subway to go somewhere.”

Ho said the South Korean authorities had erred in initially refusing to name the hospitals where MERS patients had been treated.

“If you are not transparent in terms of what happened, people will start to lose trust, and there will be unnecessary fear and rumors. That makes any effort to try to contain it much more difficult Nike Air Force 1 Verdes Baratas ,” he said.

More than 20 countries have been affected by MERS, with most cases in Saudi Arabia.

Most of the approximately 445 fatalities have been in the Middle East but memories are fresh in Asia of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which emerged in 2002-2003 and killed about 800 people worldwide. The MERS virus is considered a deadlier but less infectious cousin of SARS.

A team of officials from the World Health Organization arrived in Seoul yesterday to help investigate the outbreak and offer advice on its containment.

WHO has not recommended travel restrictions and its director-general, Margaret Chan, said she believed South Korea would be able to control the spread.

But alarm is growing and about 25,000 people had canceled trips to South Korea over the weekend Nike Air Force 1 Mujer Baratas , the Korean Tourism Organization said.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said the progress of MERS, which has been spreading since a businessman brought it home from a Middle East trip, had to be halted.

“The focus of our effort is to completely verify the route of infection and completely cut off the links and to stop all additional contacts,” Park said at the health ministry.

The outbreak is adding pressure for an interest rate cut in South Korea, possibly as soon as the central bank’s next policy meeting this week.

“The effect from MERS on private consumption cannot be overlooked as spending and tourism are quickly shrinking,” Park said during a visit to the MERS response headquarters.

The outbreak could inflict a US$2 billion hit on South Korea Nike Air Force 1 Naranja Baratas , according to Barclays, with hotels and restaurants among sectors most affected.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has upgraded its response to “serious.” The “serious” level means tighter controls at points of entry to the Chinese city, greater coordination between authorities and swifter test results for suspected cases.

“The Department of Health advises the public to avoid unnecessary travel to South Korea, in particular, those with chronic illnesses Nike Air Force 1 Granate Baratas ,” Hong Kong’s Center for Healt

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