On June 16, Seoul Mayor Park Won Soon paid a visit to Inje University Sanggye Paik Hospital, one of the 33 MERS-free hospitals in Seoul (161 nationwide), where he inspected the status of MERS-related operations and shared some words of encouragement with the medical staff there.
He checked the separate facility (168 square meters) in front of the main building of the hospital that was installed to accommodate patients suffering from fever and respiratory symptoms as well as the negative pressure room on the fifth floor, where test samples are thoroughly screened for the virus and kept isolated and tightly contained. While speaking to the medical staff, he made a point to ask whether they were experiencing any difficulty.
Prior to his visit to this hospital, the Mayor paid visits to several other hospitals: the Seoul Medical Center, designated for patients showing serious MERS-related symptoms (June 9); Boramae Medical Center, similarly designated (June 13); Seobuk Hospital, designated for those exhibiting minor symptoms (June 14); Mediheal Hospital , in Yangcheon-gu, currently closed due to exposure to confirmed MERS patients (June 14); and Korea University Guro Hospital, designated as a MERS-free hospital (June 15).
“MERS-free hospital” refers to hospitals, designated by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), to which ordinary people can go without having to worry about contracting the virus, as patients presenting with respiratory symptoms (including suspected MERS patients) are kept separate from regular patients. In consultation with private hospitals, Seoul City will continue to designate more MERS-free hospitals.
Seoul City is currently operating three types of hospitals in connection with the current MERS outbreak: ▴ two hospitals designated for the treatment of those exhibiting serious symptoms (Seoul Medical Center and Boramae Medical Center), ▴ one hospital designated for the treatment, in a separate space, of those showing minor symptoms (Seobuk Hospital), and ▴ 59 hospitals designated for the treatment of those suspected of having contracted MERS (i.e. 25 public health centers, three Seoul City-operated hospitals, and 31 hospitals for emergency care, including those operated by Seoul National University).