South Korea re­ports 15th MERS fa­tal­ity, seven new cases

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JUNG HA- WON

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.

In or­der

to

pre­vent

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.

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