Taiwan govt prepares to deal with MERS outbreak

Taiwan govt prepares to deal with MERS outbreak

TAIPEI - Premier Mao Chi-kuo yesterday announced that preventive measures will be taken in order to tackle the MERS-CoV virus, as it was reported that the virus has made its way past China's borders as of press time.

During the Executive Yuan's weekly meeting, Mao commented on the Ministry of Health and Welfare's (MHW) report regarding the virus, that while the MERS-CoV virus is currently concentrated in the Middle East, people could still come into contact with the virus due to interaction at international events.

According to the MHW's report, health officials concluded that the virus' community-acquired infection risk is still relatively low. The likelihood of human transmission is unclear as the virus has not mutated yet, health authorities said.

Also, the MHW said that the World Health Organisation suggested that countries not implement travel restricts yet, as the situation in South Korea has not reached a level warranting travel bans.

For the sake of safety, Mao called for the MHW to begin six main prevention measures: to continue monitoring the outbreak, risk assessment, customs inspection and quarantine, pathogen investigations, preparing the medical health care-related institutions, risk communication and international co-operation.

Mao also asked the MHW to continue keeping the public up to date with the latest news of the virus, as to not only educate people, but also to keep the panic from spreading among the public.

Seven diagnosed cases have been confirmed in South Korea as of press time. The newest cases reported yesterday are a health worker and a patient who was staying in the hospital where the diagnosed health worker is employed. Both have undergone quarantine treatment.

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