RI Issues Travel Advice over South Korea MERS Outbreak

10, Jun 2015 | Author: Embassy of Indonesia

Source: Antara News

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has issued travel advice to Indonesian nationals who plan to travel to South Korea amid a Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in the country.

Retno said the travel advice had been posted on the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s website. “We’re also working with the Health Ministry to give more detailed information about MERS,” said Retno on Tuesday.

According to Retno, the travel advice does not mean banning Indonesian citizens from traveling to South Korea, as her ministry was only authorized to provide information. The Indonesian Embassy in Guang Zhou, China, has also been asked to disperse information about the virus.

Retno added there had been no reported case of any Indonesians infected with MERS, and that her ministry and the Health Ministry would also disseminate information on MERS to hajj pilgrims.

The number of MERS victims in South Korea is presently on the rise, with South Korean Health Ministry announcing five of the 14 people confirmed to have contracted MERS died.

The number of MERS cases have almost doubled from two months ago from 34 to 68—the highest outside of the epidemic region of the Middle East. Some 1,600 people have been quarantined in a bid to keep the virus from spreading.

MERS was first discovered in human three years ago in Saudi Arabia. This disease is caused by coronavirus, similar to SARS. The World Health Organization (WHO) said the mortality rate caused by MERS was higher than SARS, which was 38 percent. So far, there have been 1,179 MERS cases worldwide—442 of them leading to death.

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