SEOUL, June 4 (UPI) -- South Korea's Unification Ministry said it would work together with North Korea to prevent the spread of the MERS virus into a jointly operated factory complex in the isolated country.
Seoul said on Thursday that North Korea had requested South Korean help in installing fever-screening cameras at different checkpoints, Yonhap reported.
South Korea has agreed to the request and plans to install three cameras previously used to screen the Ebola virus at the Kaesong Industrial Complex. Seoul, however, has yet to decide on a second North Korea request to supply facemasks for all North Korean workers in the complex.
The cameras each cost around $9,500 and were financed by the South Korean government in November, according to South Korean newspaper Maeil Business.
When North Korea lifted its Ebola-related travel ban, the cameras were returned to South Korea.
A few months later, the equipment is being reinstalled – this time to screen for the MERS coronavirus that has spread rapidly in South Korea but so far has been limited to hospital personnel and those who were in direct contact with patients.
North Korea first reported South Korea cases of the MERS virus on May 23, according to Yonhap.
North Korea's state-controlled news outlet KCNA introduced the unfamiliar disease as a highly fatal respiratory syndrome that was occurring in neighboring South Korea.
Kim Yong-hyun, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in South Korea, said the epidemic could suspend North-South civic exchanges in the near future.