All South Koreans suspected of being infected with Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) have been freed from self or mandatory quarantine Monday, indicating an announcement of the formal end of the MERS spread if no suspect is reported in the next four weeks.
The last person, who had been ordered to stay at home for possible MERS infection, was freed from self-isolation as the person has shown no symptoms of the deadly viral disease during the incubation period of two weeks, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The number of those quarantined declined to zero for the first time since the first patient was discovered on May 20. The total number freed from self-quarantine or isolation in government- designated hospitals was 16,693.
The South Korean government reportedly plans to declare the " actual" end of the MERS crisis as early as Tuesday to eliminate worries about the MERS resumption among South Koreans as well as foreign tourists.
Consumers, who had refrained from going to public places crowded with people for MERS fears, resumed outside activity as no MERS contagion case was identified for the past three weeks. As the summer vacation season came, people rushed to vacation spots like beaches and mountains.
The total MERS contagion cases were unchanged at 186 for 22 days since July 6, with the death toll remaining at 36 for 16 days since July 12.
A total of 12 infectees are now under treatment. Among them, 11 have been tested negative for the corona virus. The other one has been tested sometimes positive and sometimes negative, delaying the formal end of the MERS crisis.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the MERS end should be declared four weeks after the last infectee completely recovers, delaying the official declaration date to late-August.