Five people in Japan who were suspected of being infected with Middle East respiratory syndrome had broken home quarantine in South Korea, health minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki said Thursday.
In South Korea, anyone put under home quarantine after coming into contact with a MERS-infected person or staying in the victim’s home or hospital is barred from leaving the country.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said South Korean officials notified Japan that two Japanese and three South Korean citizens traveled to Japan while under quarantine.
The Japanese government monitored the five but none showed symptoms of MERS, Suga said.
Four have passed the MERS incubation period of 14 days, but the fifth person, as well as another Japanese found to have had contact with one of the five while in South Korea, are still being monitored, he added.
South Korea has banned people under quarantine from leaving the country since the MERS outbreak began earlier this month, but it takes time to find people who have made contact or stayed in the same facilities as a MERS patient. The five people in Japan who broke home quarantine may have left South Korea before they were notified they were being quarantined.