South Korea declared on Tuesday it is effectively out of danger from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), more than two months after the first case was reported and began spreading in hospital settings to kill 36 people.
The outbreak grew to become the largest outside Saudi Arabia, infecting 186 people and at its peak putting nearly 17,000 in quarantine. It was traced to a man who returned from a business trip to the Middle East in May.
“It is the assessment of the government and the medical community that the public can rest easy,” Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn told a government meeting on public health.
Twelve people remain hospitalised in South Korea and under treatment for MERS although only one is still testing positive for the MERS virus, the Health Ministry said, adding that no new cases have been reported since July 4. Health experts say the virus has an incubation period of about two weeks.
The last person was freed from quarantine on Monday.