With more MERS cases, South Korea says outbreak at crossroads

The WHO has reported this to be very complex and risky. Of these, 479 people have died. For a hospital which draws patients seeking the best medical services ― many of them with power and money ― at home and overseas, it certainly would be painful to be accused of being the main culprit for the spread of infections.

Another major Seoul hospital, Konkuk University Medical Centre, on Wednesday also stopped admitting new patients and performing surgery after four cases were reported in recent days.

Out of 175 MERS patients in South Korea, 85 were patients, relatives, staff or visitors at the Samsung hospital in Seoul.

Till now at least sixty seven infected people were tested positive and were discharged from the hospitals after the MERS virus started in May.

A chief policy official at the health ministry told in a news brief that, "We are at a crossroads, whether this is going to spread further or not".

The foreign woman and her boyfriend, who accompanied her on a tour, have been isolated at the Lam Dong General Hospital in Da Lat City, said Dr. Dong Si Quang, head of the provincial Health Department’s Division for Medical and Pharmaceutical Affairs.

Malaysia, which shares a 650 km (400 mile) land border with Thailand, has already begun monitoring passengers’ body temperatures at its airports, Deputy Health Minister Hilmi Yahaya said in a statement to state news agency Bernama.

In light of the complex developments of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Corona virus (MERS-CoV) in the world and especially in Asia, the Lam Dong People's Committee assigned competent bodies to accelerate the adoption of measures to cope with the epidemic and to be well-prepared to implement synchronous solutions to control the epidemic if it affects the province.

That means that the red alert won’t be lifted until 28 consecutive days after no new cases are discovered.

All of the South Korean cases have been traced to hospitals.

The latest fatalities reported in South Korea on Monday were of patients aged in their 80s with pre-existing health problems, the health ministry said.

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