An official apology to the public has been made by Samsung Electronic’s heir and Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong (47) after one of its affiliated hospitals, Samsung Medical Hospital became the center of the MERS epidemic.
A televised press conference was held on June 23rd at the company’s headquarters in southern Seoul. Despite Samsung Medical Hospital already having apologized twice on the way they had handled the MERS outbreak in the early stages, it is the first time the main company, Samsung, has made a public apology.
Additionally, it is the first time Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong has appeared at a press conference as he usually stays low key.
“Samsung Medical Center failed to contain the spread of the MERS virus. We have caused too much pain and concern for the Korean people. I extend my sincerest apologies.”
After giving a deep bow to the press, he stated, “I offer my sincere apologies and deep regrets to the patients, bereaved families and all others who have suffered from the disease. My father is also hospitalized at the hospital. I can understand your sufferings and concerns.”
“In the wake of the incident, we’ve decided to improve our medical facilities and environments, including the ER, and build a more negative pressure isolation rooms to make our patients feel at ease. We will actively support disease prevention efforts and vaccine development to better deal with future disease infection.”
Samsung Medical Hospital accounts for almost half of the total MERS patients in South Korea with approximately 80 people believed to have been infected by the 14th MERS patient, the “super spreader,” during his 2-day stay at the hospital’s emergency room during which he was failed to be diagnosed with the virus.
Currently, Samsung Medical Hospital is under a suspension until June 24th, only carrying out emergency surgeries and treating MERS patients. However, with the growing MERS patients, the suspension on the hospital may extend.
Thus far, MERS has killed 27 people with 175 confirmed to be infected.
Source: Korean Herald