South Korea has recorded a 6th death from the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), even as there are reports of a sharp rise in the number of cases in the country.

Over 2,300 people have been placed under quarantine and nearly 1,900 schools have been closed.

BBC reports that 17  of the 23 new cases were infected at the Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul, even as all the infections so far have been confined to hospitals with transmission occurring between patients, staff and their families in close contact.

Health officials have since released the names of the 24 hospitals,  mainly in Seoul and the province of Gyeonggi, involved in the outbreak.

This comes as Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon accused the central government of not providing enough information to citizens about the virus.

However, health minister Moon Hyung-pyo rejected the claim, saying such comments risked increasing public concern.

The outbreak has been described as the the biggest outbreak of Mers outside the Middle East.

MERS was first discovered in the Middle East in 2012 and the was first death was recorded in Saudi Arabia in the same year.

It is characterised by fever, cough and breathing difficulties, and can also cause pneumonia and kidney failure. There is no cure for the virus.