UPDATE: South Korea – the deadly MERS outbreak is over after two months period that caused number of deaths and restrictions on daily life in Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
- Korean Prime Minister Kwang Kyo-ahn said the danger posted by the biggest MERS outbreak of the virus outside Saudi Arabia is over.
“After weighing various circumstances, the medical personnel and the government judge that the people can now be free from worry.”
“I ask the public to shake off all concerns over MERS and to resume normal daily activities, including economic, cultural, leisure and school activities,” Mr. Hwang said at a meeting of government officials in Seoul.
U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases declared an initial success testing, published in the journal Nature Communications, reports that the mice vaccinated with the experimental drug produced antibodies against different strains of MERS.
The research found that vaccinated macaque monkeys were protected against lung damage when exposed to the virus. The researchers hope to test a second-generation form of the vaccine on humans soon.
In South Korea, Prime Minister also apologized to the people of South Korea for the worries and discomfort.
No new infections have been reported for the last 23 days in South Korea, the last case was confirmed on 4 July.
In May 2015, first MERS case appeared in the country, which was brought by a man who visited the Middle East.
The only outbreak outside the Middle East, South Korea, has confirmed 36 fatalities out of 186 confirmed cases of the virus.
Aftermath of the MERS outbreak lead to closure of thousands of schools, universities and other education institutes across the country.
The MERS outbreak had a disastrous effect on the economy; local businesses were affected such as restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas. The tourist sector was particularly hit hard, with a 40% drop in foreign visitors.
Many Koreans and others around the globe criticized the Korean State officials of being slow to react to the crisis. Most of the infections happened at health centers that were not adequately prepared for a contagious disease.
Recently, the government approved a 11-trillion won budget to help the stumbling economy.