Date
25 March 2017
A worker disinfects a classroom before the reopening of schools in Seoul. Nearly 3,000 schools were closed on Friday but only 440 remain shut. Photo: Reuters
A worker disinfects a classroom before the reopening of schools in Seoul. Nearly 3,000 schools were closed on Friday but only 440 remain shut. Photo: Reuters

South Korea schools reopen but MERS spread continues

South Korean schools shut down amid MERS worries have reopened, the first step in the country’s efforts to return to normal.

But the outbreak continues unabated, with five new cases and a 16th death reported in the past 24 hours.

There are now 150 infected people, all traced to hospitals or clinics.

Reuters is reporting that 440 schools remain closed out of 2,900 that were shut on Friday.

President Park Geun-hye is urging her countrymen to return to normal while battling criticism of her government’s handling of the outbreak.

Much of the public anger centers on her government’s refusal early on to release the names of the hospital where infected and suspected patients had stayed, Reuters says.

On Saturday, the World Health Organization cited shortcomings in the government’s early response to MERS and urged better communication.

MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) is a flu-like virus first reported in 2012 and mostly linked to Saudi Arabia where it got its name.

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CG/RA

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