South Korea has gone since July 4 without a new case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) prompting health officials and the Prime minister to say the outbreak is over.
The Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare’s MERS Task Force said Monday that consensus among healthcare experts that MERS infection is no more a matter of concern.
Prime Minster Hwang Kyo-ahn essentially said the outbreak was over today in a meeting, “After weighing various circumstances, the medical personnel and the government judge that the people can now be free from worry.”
Since 4 July no new cases have been reported. Yesterday, all remaining contacts were released from quarantine symptom-free, following 14 days of isolation and monitoring, according to the World Health Organization Western Pacific Region.
However, South Korean health officials said that it will maintain and manage all of necessary response systems while actively taking follow-up measures until all things related to the outbreak of MERS are completely resolved.
The outbreak, which began in May 2015 through the importation of a single case via a traveler from the Middle East, has remained confined to health-care facilities. There has been no evidence of airborne transmission and sustained human-to-human transmission in communities. Since the start of the outbreak 186 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV have been reported (including one confirmed case in China), with 36 related deaths.