South Korea Mers outbreak: Some holidaymakers worried but not cancelling plans

A quarantine officer checking the temperature of a passenger at Incheon International Airport, South Korea, on June 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
A quarantine officer checking the temperature of a passenger at Incheon International Airport, South Korea, on June 2, 2015. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Reports of the deadly Middle East respiratory syndrome (Mers) in South Korea have some holidaymakers worried. But, for now, most will go ahead with their June vacation plans.

Travel agencies here said some customers have asked how safe it is to visit South Korea. But there have been no cancellations at agencies such as Chan Brothers Travel and CTC Travel.

Said Chan Brothers' marketing communications executive Rebecca Chia: "We remind our travellers to maintain vigilance and adopt health precautions such as avoiding close contact with people who are coughing. We are closely monitoring the situation."

South Korea recorded its first case of the Mers virus last month. Since then, the number of infected South Koreans has jumped to more than 20, with two fatalities as of yesterday. The virus has infected more than 1,100 people and killed more than 400 worldwide.

But despite concerns, demand for travel to South Korea has not dampened. This month, Chan Brothers has several groups, of 20 to 40 people each, departing for the country daily.

Hong Thai Travel has about 500 people going there this month, while CTC Travel has about 600.

cherylw@sph.com.sg