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Taiwan issues yellow travel alert for South Korea

Taiwan issues yellow travel alert for South Korea

Taipei, June 9 (CNA) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Tuesday a yellow travel advisory, the second out of its four-color alert system, for the whole of South Korea, amid a rapid spread of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) there. The ministry also urged Taiwanese nationals in South Korea to refrain from visiting hospitals and other medical institutions except for necessary medical care. The ministry had previously issued a yellow alert for only Seoul June 3, with other areas in the East Asian country under the less-serious gray alert. According to the ministry's latest travel advisory for South Korea announced late Tuesday, a yellow level alert is now in place for the whole of the country. In view of the close exchanges between Taiwan and South Korea and South Korea's closure of more than 2,100 schools so far amid the MERS scare, the ministry expanded the travel alert out of safety concerns. The yellow alert warns people to exercise caution and to review whether to travel to the affected area. Under the four-color system, the lowest level is gray, followed by yellow, then orange and finally red. A red alert is the highest warning level and advises people to refrain from traveling to the region in question. As of Tuesday, South Korea had reported seven deaths and 95 confirmed MERS cases since the first reported case last month. All the deaths have been among elderly people with pre-existing medical conditions. The Foreign Ministry's decision to expand the travel alert followed an announcement earlier in the day by Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that it too had raised its travel advisory for the whole of South Korea to a level 2 warning. The CDC announcement came after South Korea's Acting Prime Minister Choi Kyung-hwan said earlier in the day that his government should take the threat of MERS seriously. (By Elaine Hou)

Updated : 2021-09-26 02:23 GMT+08:00