Taiwan Expands MERS Travel Alert to All of South Korea
PHOTO: Seoul, South Korea. Taiwan has expanded its travel alert beyond the city to limit travel to all of South Korea. (Courtesy of Thinkstock)
On the heels of Hong Kong's red alert travel warning advising residents to avoid all non-essential travel to South Korea amid the country's Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak, Taiwan has expanded its travel alert to include all of South Korea, according to Reuters.
Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control, which had issued an alert for the South Korea capital city of Seoul, issued the widened alert late Tuesday, also recommending that citizens avoid visiting medical institutions when traveling to South Korea.
What's more, Reuters reports Taiwan's two biggest airlines have decided to temporarily cut nearly half of their scheduled flights to South Korea.
The World Health Organization (WHO) just recently began working alongside South Korean officials but has yet to recommend any restrictions on travel or trade. The WHO team has recommended that officials reopen the more than 2,400 schools and universities that have been closed however, as they are unlikely to assist in spreading the disease, per Reuters.
The news agency also reports South Korean President Park Geun-hye postponed a U.S. visit this past weekend in order to oversee the nation's ongoing response to the outbreak. Park was scheduled to meet with President Barack Obama on Tuesday.
The country's health ministry reported on Wednesday that two more people have died from MERS, bringing the death count to nine. The number of confirmed cases stands at 108.
The outbreak, which is being linked to hospitals and spread mainly among adults, is the largest outside of Saudi Arabia since the virus was discovered in humans three years ago. While the number of confirmed cases has just surpassed 100 on Tuesday, more than 2,800 people who may have come in contact with the virus remain in quarantine.
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