According to the Ministry of Health & Welfare, the number of Koreans that have tested positive for MERS increased from 13 to 15 on May 31, each of the two latest cases aged 35. It has also been found that a serviceman recently met his infected mother. Fortunately, though, all of the 15 patients constitute secondary infections, and tertiary infections have not yet occurred.
But under the circumstances, more and more people are avoiding traveling or going to crowded places such as department stores. Organizations like provincial offices of education and schools have canceled their extracurricular activities, too. “We are very concerned, although the number of customers has not shown a significant decrease yet,” a local department store said, adding, “We are currently disinfecting furniture, doorknobs, and the like, even though we know that is not enough, as it is impossible to examine our customers at random.”
Those in the tourism industry are worried about the possibility of a decrease in the number of inbound foreign tourists as well. June is the first month of the summer vacation season for many, which means travel agencies, hotels, department stores and the like could see much fewer customers this summer, unless the fear is handled properly.