SEOUL, Feb. 11 (Korea Bizwire) – Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said Thursday that the government should preemptively deal with the possible outbreak of the Zika virus by strengthening cooperation with international health authorities.
“The government should intensify cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) and share information with Zika outbreak countries,” Hwang said during a Cabinet meeting.
The mosquito-borne illness, declared by the WHO as a global emergency, has spread to parts of Asia and Latin America. South Korea has not reported any cases yet.
The PM further asked relevant government agencies to strengthen the monitoring of passengers returning from Zika outbreak countries as well as imported animals and plants from there.
The virus has been linked to thousands of birth defects in newborn babies such as abnormally small heads and improperly developed brains.
“Please make efforts to quickly and exactly notify the people about the latest information and precautionary measures to minimize public anxiety,” Hwang said.
The PM emphasized that the government should be as transparent as possible in the dissemination of information on possible suspected cases to reassure the public.’