Hong Kong Warns Against Travel to South Korea Over MERS Outbreak

Hong Kong advised its citizens to avoid non-essential travel to South Korea over the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome there, which has infected almost 90 people.

The Chinese city raised its response alert on MERS to “serious,” due to concern over the growing number of cases, health secretary Ko Wing-man told reporters in Hong Kong today.

“We appeal to the general public to avoid non-essential travel to the Republic of Korea,” Ko said. “The risk of community outbreak in South Korea is now significantly increased.”

Around 5,000 people travel between Hong Kong and South Korea every day, reporters at the press conference were told. Ko stressed that this was travel advice rather than an official travel alert, which would allow travelers who already bought tickets to be eligible for refunds or re-scheduled trips.

All the cases announced by South Korea so far have been hospital-related.

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