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South Korea seals off two Mers hospitals

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South Korea has sealed off two hospitals that treated people with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers), officials said on Friday (June 12).

The virus has infected 126 people in South Korea and killed 11 since it was first diagnosed just over three weeks ago in a businessman who had returned from a trip to the Middle East.

The danger of the virus in hospitals had led to two being sealed off with at least 133 people — patients and staff — inside.

They would be sealed off for at least the next 11 days, given the incubation period of the virus, officials said.

“No patients can get out of their rooms,” said a city government official in Seoul, who declined to be identified. 

"Nurses in protective gear are giving them food. No one can get in from outside.”

Four new cases

All but one of South Korea’s cases have been confirmed as originating with the businessman who travelled to the Middle East and happening in health-care centres, and the last one is likely to be confirmed as such too, the health ministry said.

The health ministry reported four new cases on Friday (June 12), the lowest daily increase in 11 days, raising hope the worst might be over.

The number of people in quarantine, either at home or in medical facilities, also declined for the first time, by 125 to 3,680, the ministry said.

Source: Reuters

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