Ebola Fears Spread to Korea

Fears over the Ebola outbreak in West Africa are quickly spreading to Korea. Universities and NGOs with exchanges with the region are being pressured to reconsider their plans, businesses are forced to shrink their activities there and travelers are cancelling their summer holidays on the entire African continent.

Several petitions appeared on the Cheong Wa Dae website over the weekend calling for a travel ban for medical volunteer groups to anywhere in Africa, and for academics from Africa to be refused entry if they want to attend conferences here.

Tourists wait for quarantine checks at Incheon International Airport on Sunday. /Newsis Tourists wait for quarantine checks at Incheon International Airport on Sunday. /Newsis

Since the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa in March this year, 1,440 people have been infected, and 826 of them have died, according to the World Health Organization on Friday. The casualties are the biggest since the virus was first discovered in 1976.

Guinea has been struck hardest with 346 of 472 infected people killed so far. In Sierra Leone, 252 out of 574 infected patients died, and in Liberia, 227 out of 391. In Nigeria, three people were found infected with the virus, and one has died.

Here, officials from relevant ministries met at the Prime Minister's Office on Monday morning.

The Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone on Thursday and Friday last week.

englishnews@chosun.com / Aug. 04, 2014 12:20 KST