A Reuters news report indicates that the total number of patients with MERS in South Korea has risen to seven, with one person taking a trip to China after skipping a voluntary quarantine.

A rise in MERS cases has stirred alarm in South Korea, with health authorities being criticized for not moving quickly and effectively enough to quarantine suspected patients.

Two new victims are believed to have caught the virus from the first case confirmed last week, a 68-year-old man who had traveled to Bahrain in April and May, and returned to South Korea via Qatar.

The Health Ministry said the son of the second confirmed victim in the outbreak, who was himself being observed for possible infection, broke voluntary home quarantine and left South Korea on Tuesday for China.

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