Thailand's first MERS case to leave hospital

BANGKOK - An Omani man who became Thailand's first case of Middle East Respiratory Sydnrome (MERS) has made a full recovery and will be discharged from hospital on Friday, Thailand's health minister said.

The 75-year-old man, who had travelled to Bangkok for treatment for a heart condition and was then diagnosed with the virus, was declared free of the disease earlier this week.

"The medical team looking after the patient and three of his relatives have decided that they can return home," Thai Public Health Minister Rajata Rajatanavin told reporters, adding that the man and three of his relatives who travelled with him to Bangkok were preparing to leave an infectious diseases facility.

It was not clear whether the patient and his family would travel back to Oman immediately.

Thailand's Health Ministry said all 176 people on its watch-list who were exposed to the country's single patient have tested negative for the disease.

Thailand confirmed its first case of MERS last month, becoming the fourth Asian country to register the virus this year.

In South Korea, which is battling the largest MERS outbreak outside Saudi Arabia, 184 cases have been reported so far.

Of the 184 confirmed cases, 33 have died.

The outbreak has scared off tourists and kept South Koreans away from restaurants, shopping areas and cinemas.

South Korea on Friday proposed a stimulus package worth 16.1 trillion won ($14.31 billion) to jump-start Asia's fourth-largest economy as it fights to revive an economy reeling from a collapse in exports and the spread of MERS.

First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a corona virus from the same family as the one that triggered the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

There is no cure or vaccine.