Korea’s Health and Welfare Ministry on Monday said it has confirmed the country’s 18th case of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), with the addition of three verified cases.
The ministry said the newest confirmed cases were of people who had been at the same hospital where the nation’s first case was reported. None of the three showed symptoms and were not monitored when leaving the hospital.
The first case of the disease in Korea was reported May 20. MERS has no vaccine or treatment, and is fatal in more than 40 percent of cases.
Health Minister Pyo Moon-hyung a day earlier had apologized for failing to control the disease, pledging “utmost efforts” and urging against panic.
Korean health authorities are also under fire for failing to prevent a 44-year-old infected man from going to China Tuesday, a day after his father was diagnosed with the virus.
The man took a bus to Huizhou, China, after having arrived in Hong Kong on a flight. He is hospitalized there and his condition is known to have worsened, with reportedly 77 people coming into contact with him.