MERS Health ministry in South Korea to monitor emergency ward visitors

Many of the 180 MERS cases in South Korea were caught from sufferers encountered in emergency wards before they were diagnosed, during a wait for hospital places.

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The South Korean health ministry has ordered hospitals to track all emergency ward visitors, after the MERS outbreak was blamed on difficulties locating every person exposed to the disease.

Many of the 180 MERS cases in South Korea were caught from sufferers encountered in emergency wards before they were diagnosed, during a wait for hospital places.

Health ministry official Kwon Deok-cheol said he difficulty of tracing those who thronged the wards made it harder to find people who needed to be isolated for suspected exposure to the disease.

Hospitals are now required to keep a record of all patients and family members as well as ambulance workers and the time of their visits.

The emergency ward at the prestigious Seoul hospital run by the Samsung Group had become an epicenter of the outbreak after a 35-year-old patient waited nearly 3 days for a bed while nearly 900 patients, their families, and other visitors, as well as hospital staff, went through the ward.

The health ministry has promised to change the practice of patients and their families waiting in emergency rooms for beds to become available.

Meanwhile 2 new deaths were recorded today (Thursday) bringing the total number of cases to 29, with most of the deaths have been among elderly patients or those already suffering illnesses.

 

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