SEJONG, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) – South Korea lowered its Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) alert level to its lowest readiness posture Tuesday with no new infections being reported in nearly five months, the government said.
The Ministry of Health and Welfare said the decision to lower the readiness level from “yellow” to “blue” comes after local disease experts reached agreement that there is no chance of new cases occurring in the country. The downgrade took effect as of noon.
The respiratory disease which was first confirmed on May 20 claimed 38 people in the country with 187 people in total being infected.
Although a person died from complications caused by the illness on Nov. 25 after undergoing treatment for several months, there have been no new cases of the disease since July 4.
The ministry said that while it is lowering the alert posture, it pointed out that cases are still being reported in Saudi Arabia and some Middle East countries requiring constant vigilance.
“Existing monitoring and quarantine rules will remain in effect,” it said.
The ministry has urged ordinary people to pay attention to personal hygiene and avoid making unnecessary hospital visits, which were cited as some of the reasons why MERS spread so quickly in South Korea.