South Korea has no new Mers case for past five days

Women wearing masks at Myeongdong shopping district in central Seoul, South Korea.
Women wearing masks at Myeongdong shopping district in central Seoul, South Korea.PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL - South Korea has had no new case of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) for the past five days, the government said on Friday.

The number of people diagnosed with the virus remained at 186, Yonhap news agency reported.

The country's Mers death toll has also remained unchanged at 35 since Wednesday, the agency said, citing the Ministry of Health and Welfare.

Ministry officials said the country may be able to declare an end to the Mers outbreak if it continues to see no new infection cases.

A total of 566 people still remain in isolation as suspected cases following possible exposure to the Mers virus.

Since the country reported its first case on May 20, nearly 16,700 people have been subject to isolation for possible infection. So far, 16,102 of them have been released after showing no symptoms of Mers for more than the known maximum incubation period of 14 days for the disease.

Out of those diagnosed, 125 have been discharged from hospitals following complete recovery. The remaining 26 were still hospitalised as of Friday, according to the ministry.