South Korea passes a law that imprisons people for up to two years if they defy quarantine orders when suspected of having an infectious disease. Police officers, firefighters, and other public workers will also help health investigators enforce the quarantine law. This is in response to the 181 confirmed cases and 31 deaths resulting from an infection by a 68-year-old man from the Middle East who withheld information from doctors in his itinerary. The quarantine law also publicizes information about a disease outbreak in response to criticism that South Korea delayed reporting of hospitals affected by MERS.
As MERS cases and deaths slow, South Korean schools reopen following recommendation by WHO. President Park Geun-hye also asks the people of South Korea to resume business as normal in response to the country’s revenue loss following the outbreak. Bin Ko-ok, a grandmother of a first-grader:
The child’s mother and I both work, so I think it’s better for kids to be in school where there can be proper measures, rather than keeping them home.
South Korea’s health ministry confirms the first deaths of two people due to MERS. A 58-year-old woman, who had been treated as a suspected case of MERS, died of acute respiratory failure on June 29 and tests later came back positive for the virus. The other victim died on June 30, a 71-year-old man who was confirmed to have the virus several days ago. Six more people have been diagnosed with the disease, bringing the total number of people infected to 25 including the two victims. Acting Prime Minister Choi Kyung-hwan tells an emergency meeting of officials:
People believe that the health authorities’ response has been inefficient and poor. We should use all our national resources to alleviate their concerns.
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