Seoul provides emergency aid to schools over MERS spread

Seoul, June 15 (IANS) This South Korean capital has provided emergency financial aid to elementary schools and kindergartens to help contain the spread of Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) that has claimed 16 lives in the country.

The Seoul Metropolitan Government on Sunday approved 1.9 billion won ($1.7 million) in aid for schools at the request of the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education amid growing concerns over the rapid spread of the virus, Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.

The city government approved 400 million won in funding to sterilise the buildings of 2,230 elementary schools and kindergartens, and 1.5 billion won to purchase thermometres for students.

“The safety of students is the most important priority,” said Lee Dong-soo, a senior official in charge of the emergency aid, adding that the city government will continue to make efforts in sanitation.

Meanwhile, over 100 elementary schools and kindergartens in two southern Seoul districts resumed classes on Monday after a week-long school shutdown.

The order had affected 69 kindergartens and 57 elementary schools in the Gangnam and Seocho districts, where a MERS-infected doctor was found to have spent about four days out in public before being quarantined.

The health ministry on Monday confirmed five new cases, raising the total number of positive cases to 150.

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