South Korea’s MERS Outbreak could affect its Economic Recovery, says Moody’s

South Korea’s MERS Outbreak could affect its Economic Recovery, says Moody’s

South Korea’s Health Ministry has reported three new cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). On Thursday, Moody’s Investors Service raised concerns by affirming that the outbreak could prove taxing for the nation’s economy recovery.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has praised the South Korean authorities for measures they are taking to control the outbreak. The outbreak, considered to be the largest outside of South Arabia, is slowing.

Last week, there were 23 cases, but this week the number of new cases has dropped to single digits. On Thursday, three cases were reported. Moody’s said, “The spread of the illness is credit negative for the sovereign, because it is dampening consumer confidence amid already-weak domestic demand, threatening to undermine an incipient recovery in economic growth”.

Due to the outbreak, people have been avoiding to go to malls and parks. President Park Geun-hye and other leaders are concerned about the outbreak’s economic impact on the nation. Therefore, they have requested people to return to normal.

The finance minister said they are considering a supplementary budget to strengthen the economy. In total, 165 people have been infected and 23 have lost their lives from the outbreak. As per the WHO, new cases in coming weeks are expected. Over 6,700 people are in quarantine, either at home or in health facilities.

Experts said that all of the infections have taken place in healthcare facilities. The situation is such that three hospitals have been partially shut and two have locked down with patients and medical staff inside.