5 break MERS quarantine to return to Japan


Japan's health ministry says five people broke quarantine for the MERS virus in South Korea and have returned to Japan.

The South Korean government earlier this month informed Japan that two Japanese and three Koreans who had been under house quarantine, had entered Japan, health minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki told a news conference Thursday.

The ministry had mandated that all five individuals be under strict watch for a period of 14 days during which any signs of fever or any other symptoms will be monitored, Fuji TV reported. So far, four have already completed their time in quarantine.

Quarantine officials at airports are questioning passengers arriving from countries where MERS cases have been reported. The health ministry plans to isolate anyone with a fever of 38 C or higher and test them for MERS, either at the airport or at hospitals. Even travelers who do not exhibit symptoms but have come from areas where there have been MERS outbreaks will be asked to record their vital signs during the two-week incubation period of the disease and report the results to health authorities.

Meanwhile, South Korea on Friday reported its 24th death from the MERS virus and one new case as its battle to contain the outbreak appeared to be paying off.

This brought to 166 the total number of confirmed cases since the first one was diagnosed on May 20, the health ministry said.

The number of people in quarantine has fallen 12% from the previous day to 5,930.

Currently, 112 patients are in hospital for treatment and 30 others have been cured and released.

World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan expressed guarded optimism Thursday over South Korea's ability to contain the outbreak, saying it was now "on a very good footing" after an initially slow response.

© Japan Today/AFP

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Unbelievable. And these people weren't on a watch list? The Japanese government should kick out the non-nationals and it should isolate its own nationals forthwith. Indeed, banging up their families, their friends, acquaintances and colleagues just to prove a point. Namely, quarantine orders are not something to be flaunted.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Quick ... quarantine these five selfish idiots. What we don't need in Japan is an outbreak of MERS ...

6 ( +7 / -1 )

WTF!! Idiots, lock them up in isolation & lock the damned doors!!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Too late.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Let's waitll we see how Thailand handles their MERS case, they have way more international tourists.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Batten down the hatches!! Soon we will have a new strain called JIRS - Japanese Imported Respiratory Syndrome.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Stupid people... now they'll introduce the disease to Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Am I missing something here? Headline says that five people break quarantine but in paragraph 3 it is reported that four of them have already completed their time in quarantine. Meanwhile lots of hysterics from the posters.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Exactly, not sure if the posters just read the title and immediately thought that all he'll is breaking loose.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As Johnny Cash would've said, "MERSy"! But seriously - no MERS...!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Am I missing something here? Headline says that five people break quarantine but in paragraph 3 it is reported that >four of them have already completed their time in quarantine.

My understanding was that 9 total people planning to return to Japan were quarantined. Four (of unmentioned nationality) did what they were supposed to do, but the other 5 (2 Japanese, 3 Koreans) said "screw you all" and came here anyway.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

No, there were 5 people. All 5 broke the South Korean quarantine, but 4 of those 5 have since completed the monitoring period in Japan (i.e. they were apparently not infected and thus have not brought the disease to Japan).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reminds me of the SARS outbreak in Toronto when Panasonic employees were allowed to return to Japan but Canadians in the same office were not. facepalm Disease doesn't care about your rank or who you are.

From the text the issue doesn't appear to be as fearful as the fear-mongering headline, but it does show that people are not knowledgeable about what is necessary. There is an opportunity to teach that but instead news goes for the scandal. Sigh.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Each person has a "responsibility" to him/herself as well as to the society within which he/she lives. Not all appreciates life or the society which supports his/her life. Some do not realize that "responsibility" is "shared" as long as there is a "connection" and a "relationship". That connection and relationship may or may not be immediate and direct. And that connection and relationship however far apart ultimately affects each individual whether wanted or not. Such is LIFE.

Hopefully... more people will take responsibility for themselves as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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