Overcoming the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus with the Red Cross

Published: 7 July 2015 3:17 CET

By Jinho Hwang, Korean National Red Cross

Since the outbreak of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in Korea, the Korean National Red Cross has been playing an important role supporting the patients and preventing further spread of the disease. By mid-June, 27 patients have died from the virus, with another 172 confirmed patients and 3,800 currently in isolation.

About 25,000 volunteers have distributed relief supplies to 6,400 individuals quarantined at home, providing information about prevention measures, psychosocial support, counselling and support in various medical facilities.

The Red Cross has also performed health checks to around 27,000 people through its Emergency Response Centre at its headquarters and with the support of response teams in Red Cross branches, hospitals and blood donation centres. With the slogan “Overcoming MERS with the Red Cross,” these MERS prevention activities specifically target vulnerable populations including the elderly who are living alone.

To raise awareness towards the virus and to highlight the Red Cross response, a webinar conducted by the International Federation of Red cross and Red Crescent Societies’ (IFRC) health unit was recently organized. To listen to the webinar, click here.