‘Doc­tor ex­posed more than 1,500 to MERS’

The China Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY OCK HYUN- JU

A doc­tor con­firmed to have con­tracted Mid­dle East re­s­pi­ra­tory syn­drome has re­port­edly come into di­rect and in­di­rect con­tact with more than 1,500 Seoul res­i­dents, said Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon in an emer­gency press con­fer­ence, rais­ing spec­u­la­tion that the deadly virus has spread into the com­mu­nity.

Ac­cord­ing to the Seoul Metropoli­tan Gov­ern­ment on Thurs­day, the 35th con­firmed MERS pa­tient, a doc­tor at a Seoul-based hos­pi­tal, started to show mi­nor symptoms of MERS last Fri­day, but still at­tended three large-scale con­fer­ences over the week­end. He was the doc­tor who treated the 14th con­firmed MERS pa­tient, the mayor said.

“On Satur­day, the doc­tor at­tended the union meet­ing for the re­con­struc­tion of an apart­ment com­plex in Gaepo-dong, Seoul, which was at­tended by a to­tal of 1,565 lo­cal peo­ple,” he said.

“He also at­tended two meet­ings of med­i­cal so­ci­eties he is af­fil­i­ated with on Satur­day and Sun­day, and vis­ited sev­eral other public places,” he added.

The doc­tor also had din­ner with his fam­ily at Gar­den Five, a shop­ping mall in south­east­ern Seoul, on Satur­day evening .

Af­ter the doc­tor started to show more MERS symptoms on Sun­day, he was in­structed by au­thor­i­ties to quar­an­tine him­self Sun­day evening. He was con­firmed of the virus on the next day.

“We have en­tered the cri­sis and this means that the cen­tral con­trol tower to com­bat MERS has col­lapsed,” the mayor said.

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