South Korea reports 15th MERS fatality, seven new cases
South Korea Sunday reported its 15th death from the MERS virus as the growing outbreak that has now infected 145 forced one of the nation’s biggest hospitals to suspend most services.
The latest fatality from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome was a 62- year- old man who died Sunday afternoon in the southern port city of Busan, the city council said.
He was diagnosed on June 7 after being infected in Seoul’s Samsung Medical Center — a major hospital and the epicenter of more than 70 cases.
The health ministry Sunday also confirmed seven new cases of the virus, including four from the Samsung hospital, bringing the total number of infections nationwide to 145.
Among the seven is a paramedic who helped take a MERS patient to the hospital on June 7. On Saturday authorities announced that the ambulance driver also involved in transporting the patient — who died three days later — had contracted the virus.
One of the other new patients was infected in the central city of Daejeon and another in Hwaseong, 43 kilometers (27 miles) south of Seoul.
further infections among patients and medical staff, Samsung hospital on Sunday temporarily suspended most operations.
It will stop treating outpatients, admitting new patients and performing non-urgent surgery, hospital president Song Jae-hoon told reporters.
No visitors would be allowed, he said, adding he would decide on June 24 whether to continue the partial suspension.