S Korea reports 3 new MERS cases

Women (C) wearing face masks walk in a shopping district in Seoul on June 19, 2015. South Korea said on June 19 that the MERS outbreak that has killed 24 people appears to have begun subsiding, as it reported one new case -- the lowest rate of new infections in two weeks. Photo: AFP

SEOUL - South Korea reported Sunday three more cases of MERS as health authorities remained vigilant about the spread of the virus whose pace had slowed down in recent days.

The three new cases in the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including two medical workers, put the total number of those infected at 169, the health ministry said.

The number of deaths remained unchanged at 25. The two medical staff include a doctor who treated a MERS patient at Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul, seen as the epicentre of the outbreak where more than 80 were infected.

Another was a medical worker who took X-rays of a MERS patient in another hospital in Seoul.

A total of 43 people have so far recovered and were released from hospital, including seven from Friday to Saturday, the ministry said.

The latest numbers came a day after South Korea reported no new cases, raising guarded hope that Seoul was winning the battle to contain the virus.

The number of new patients had been falling for three straight days from eight on Tuesday to none on Saturday.

The number of people exposed to patients and quarantined at state facilities or at home also fell to 4,035 on Saturday from a height of more than 6,700 on Wednesday.