South Korea declares 'de facto end' to MERS virus

South Korea's Prime Minister says, 'as there had been no new infections for 23 days, the public can now be free from worry'

Baku. 30 July. REPORT.AZ/ South Korea's Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn has declared a "de facto end" to the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Virus (Mers), Report informs citing BBC. 

Mr Hwang said that as there had been no new infections for 23 days, the public "can now be free from worry".

He also apologised for the government's much-criticised response to the virus, which has killed 36 people in South Korea.

But the WHO said it was not yet declaring Mers officially over.

A spokeswoman in Manila said the World Health Organisation required 28 days without a new infection to make the announcement - twice the incubation period of the virus. The last case was confirmed in South Korea on 4 July.

South Korean Health Ministry official Kwon Duk-cheol said precautions, including screening at airports, would remain in place "until the situation comes to a formal end".

"We still have many arrivals from the Middle East so there is always a possibility that new patients can come in," he added.

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