South Korea to help North Korea screen for Mers virus

Passengers wearing masks walking past a thermal imaging camera at Incheon International Airport on June 2, 2015. South Korea said on Thursday that it had agreed to a request from North Korea to install the cameras in the Kaesong joint industrial zone
Passengers wearing masks walking past a thermal imaging camera at Incheon International Airport on June 2, 2015. South Korea said on Thursday that it had agreed to a request from North Korea to install the cameras in the Kaesong joint industrial zone to prevent infection from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus outbreak in the South. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korea said on Thursday that it had agreed to a request from North Korea to install thermal-imaging cameras in their Kaesong joint industrial zone to prevent infection from the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) virus outbreak in the South.

Kaesong lies 10km over the border in North Korea, and around 500 South Koreans travel there every day to manage factories that employ some 53,000 North Korean workers.

"At the request of North Korea, we will provide a number of thermal imaging cameras to be set up in Kaesong," a South Korean Unification Ministry official told AFP.

South Korea is currently struggling to contain what has become the worst outbreak of Mers outside Saudi Arabia.

At least 35 people have been infected, of which two have died, triggering widespread public anxiety and the closure of more than 700 schools.

The Unification Ministry said it would send the same cameras it provided when North Korea became deeply concerned about the spread of the Ebola virus.

North Korea closed its borders to foreign tourists in October last year to keep out the Ebola virus and enforced a strict 21-day quarantine period on anyone entering the country.