Hong Kong to Issue Red Travel Warning on South Korea Over MERS

South Korea Braces for Impact of MERS Virus

Hong Kong will issue a red travel warning, its second-highest alert, on South Korea over the spread of Middle East respiratory syndrome.

The warning, which advises travelers to adjust their plans and makes it easier for them to obtain trip refunds or make insurance claims, comes after South Korea announced its seventh death from the MERS outbreak that has infected more than 90 people. Hong Kong’s travel industry council announced that all tour groups to South Korea will be canceled in June.

Hong Kong’s government yesterday asked the public to avoid unnecessary travel to South Korea and the red alert will come into effect later Tuesday, chief secretary Carrie Lam told reporters. South Korea will join four countries -- Egypt, Lebanon, Nepal and Pakistan -- on Hong Kong’s red alert list.

Hong Kong’s health minister Ko Wing-Man said yesterday that while transmission of MERS cases in South Korea were limited to hospitals, the rising number increased the risk of a community outbreak. All the cases announced by South Korea so far have been hospital-related.

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