South Korea tracking cellphones to make sure people stay home during the MERS quarantine
South Korean authorities are tracking cellphone use of thousands of quarantined people in order to prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) from spreading. Currently there have been 6 dead, 87 infected, and 2,300 quarantined since the outbreak began.
First reported on May 20, panic regarding the MERS virus had lead to canceled plans from the tourists, and the closure of more than a thousand schools. School’s in Seoul’s wealthiest districts (Seocho and Gangnam) will remain closed until Wednesday.
"Please understand this is an unavoidable measure for the sake of our neighbors and families,” said Deputy Prime Minister Choi Kyung-hwan to reporters at a conference where he announced the country’s plan to track cell phones in order to make sure those quarantine stay home.
MERS, first identified in 2011, is caused by a coronvirus from the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), but it has a higher death rate at 38 percent according to the World Health Organization.