S. Korea to offer free MERS insurance to tourists

June 15, 2015
A couple wearing masks as a precaution against the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus as they take a "selfie" with their smartphone at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

A couple wearing masks as a precaution against the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) virus as they take a “selfie” with their smartphone at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul, South Korea. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

By The Korea Times Seoul staff

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will provide free insurance policies to foreign tourists to cover their entire medical and traveling expenses if they contract the MERS virus here.

This was included in a set of measures announced Monday to relieve foreign tourists’ concerns over the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreak in Korea.

The ministry said it will place sterilizing products, such as hand sanitizers, at the country’s tourist attractions and 2,200 certified tourist companies as well as 5,000 tour buses.

The free insurance will be offered to all foreign tourists upon entering the country.

The ministry will also operate a 24-hour call center for foreigners to inform them of nearby hospitals that operate emergency rooms to deal with suspected MERS case.

The number is toll free at 1330, and connects to a Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) official with an interpreter’s assistance in four different languages.

In order to prevent concerns and rumors from spreading further, the ministry will provide information about the current situation and safety rules concerning MERS in the state-run tour portal, “Visit Korea,” and on social networking services such as Facebook.

Plus, the ministry plans to collect the safety evaluations from departing foreigners at the airports and reveal the results to foreign media.

“We hope the measures will make foreign tourists feel that Korea is still a safe country to visit,” Vice Minister Kim Jong said during a press conference, Monday.

“If the decline of foreign tourists continues the tourism industry will suffer substantial damage during the summer peak season.”

To help the industry, the ministry said that it will support a total of 72 billion won ($64,400,000) ― 40 billion won this summer and 32 billion won later this year ― as a special loan program to the tour-related companies including hotels and travel agencies.

According to the Korea Tourism Organization (KTO), Monday, a total of 8,000 estimated foreigners cancelled their flight tickets to Korea on June 14.

Of them, some 6,590 people were from Chinese-speaking countries. Taiwan topped the list as it cancelled 4,400 flight tickets.

As of June 14, some 108,100 foreigners have cancelled flight tickets to Korea, the KTO said.

The health ministry confirmed five more cases on Monday, raising the total to 150 for confirmed MERS cases. Of them, 16 have died.

Foreigners have yet to be infected by MERS in South Korea.

37 Comments

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    무엇을 기다리고 하는 것은 죽음; 때문에 나는 결코 치료 될 것입니다 믿습니다. 어느 날 잘이 위대한 사람에 대 한 하드 알아 에이즈의
    그리고 암 치료 나 그 내 몸에서 메에 대 한 이메일을 결정, 그는 걱정 하지 말아야, 그는 종지부를 도와줄 것입니다.
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    박사 호의 연결할 매우 자유롭기 위해 그는 당신에 게 도움이 수. 있습니다 그 때문에 그의 이메일 주소를 삭제 해요 [favorspiritualspellcasttemple@gmail.com] [favorspiritualspellcasttemple@outlook.com] 그는 위대한 사람이, 내가 그에 게 감사 또는
    절약에 대 한 내 인생, 그리고 나는 항상 좋은 작품에 대 한 증언 한다 약속 드립니다. 이것은 그가 또한 할 다른 작품입니다.

    1) 당신이 원한다 면 전-다시.
    (2) 만약 당신이 항상 나쁜 꿈을.
    (3) 사무실에서 추진 하려는.
    (5) 아이 또는 법원 승리를 하는 경우
    (7) 영원히 당신 것 당신의 남편/아내를 묶어 하려는.
    (8) 재정 지원이 필요한 경우입니다.
    (9) 초본 치료
    (10) 낮은 행동을 잘못 인해 아내 섹스 욕망을 만족 시킬 수 없는 경우.
    (11) 당신의 생리 하루 그것 가정 또는 흐름을 거부 하는 경우
    (14) 한 가족 데 니 오른쪽의?
    (15) 낮은 정자 수 있습니까?

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