HK issues red alert against South Korea travel

Yesterday, Hong Kong issued a "red alert" advisory against non-essential travel to South Korea, where new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have been reported, including fatalities.
 
Source: Reuters

 

In South Korea, 2208 school have now been closed due to the MERS outbreak, including 20 universities.

"At this stage, to issue a clear message is something the Hong Kong government thinks is necessary," Hong Kong's number two official, Carrie Lam, told reporters just before the travel warning was posted.

Hong Kong authorities see the red alert as a "significant threat, meaning that Hong Kongers should avoid non-essential travel". A red alert is the second-highest outbound travel advisory on a three-point scale.

Nam Kyung-pil, governor of Gyeonggi province, which surrounds the South Korean capital, Seoul, said 32 of its large general hospitals have joined the campaign to fight the outbreak by offering to take in anyone who is showing MERS symptoms.

"We are fighting two wars; The war against the disease and the war against fear," Nam said.

South Korea's new cases bring the total of MERS cases globally to 1,244, based on World Health Organization (WHO) data, with at least 446 related deaths.

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