MERS fears force tourists to cancel Korea trips

Fear of virus has prompted 54,000 tourists to cancel so far
Fears of the outbreak of the deadly MERS virus has prompted 54,000 tourists to cancel trips to South Korea so far, with fears that as many as 70,000 tourists from China alone may soon cancel.
The biggest outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome ever to occur outside Saudi Arabia has caused the deaths of nine people, out of a total of 122 infections after 14 new cases were reported early on Thursday. Thousands have found themselves in quarantine.
The outbreak began after a South Korean man visited the Middle East and was diagnosed with the virus on May 20. Worries that the outbreak could harm the nation’s economy have led to South Korea’s central bank cutting its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 1.5%. Consumers are staying at home and less cars are reported to be on the roads in Seoul.
President Park Geun-hye tried to calm citizens’ fears, saying, “I urge citizens to refrain from excessively reacting to MERS for the sake of the economy.”
Wall Street Journal / BBC


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