Lankans in South Korea will not be evacuated

Workers in full protective gear disinfect the interior of a subway train at a Seoul Metro's railway vehicle base in GoyangSri Lankans in South Korea will not be evacuated at this moment as an outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) spread, lifting the total number of patients to 108 as of today.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mahishini Colonne said that the Sri Lankans in South Korea are safe and the South Korean Government has also not imposed travel restrictions to the country.

A Reuters report said that the outbreak has fueled public anxiety, with thousands in quarantine and the number of schools closing rising to 2,474, including 22 universities. Many people on the streets are wearing face masks, while attendance at movie theaters and baseball games has dwindled.

First identified in humans in 2012, MERS is caused by a coronavirus from the same family as the one that triggered China’s deadly 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). There is no cure or vaccine.

Some countries around the region have issued advisories against travel to South Korea or stepped up screening of inbound passengers, dealing a setback to a tourism sector that had been a bright spot for the flagging South Korean economy. (Colombo Gazette)