MERS claims new victim, toll 11 in South Korea

Seoul, June 12 (IANS/EFE) A 72-year-old woman succumbed to the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) or coronavirus on Friday in South Korea, taking the number of deaths to 11.

The new victim was the only carrier of coronavirus in the entire South Jeolla province, South Korea’s Newsis agency reported.

With this death, the mortality rate of the MERS outbreak, first detected in South Korea on May 20, has crossed eight percent.

The total number of infections in the country increased on Friday to 126 after four new cases were detected.

The government has claimed that the outbreak was under control as all the infections have occurred in hospitals.

Up to 55 health centres across the country are affected by the virus and at least five of them have stopped admitting new patients.

A total of 3,680 people have been quarantined while 2,788 of the 20,000 educational institutions in the country have temporarily shut down.

MERS has a 40 percent mortality rate (recorded in earlier outbreaks), according to World Health Organisation, and cannot be treated with vaccines or medicines.

In the wake of the outbreak, more South Koreans have begun using masks in public places and taking precautionary measures such as increasing hygiene and refrain from visiting hospitals.

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