Samsung apologizes for spread of MERS

The heir-apparent of South Korea's massive Samsung Group bowed in apology during a nationally televised address on Tuesday for failing to stop the spread of MERS

Samsung apologizes for spread of MERS

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The son and heir of South Korea’s wealthiest man -- ailing Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee -- apologized Tuesday for Samsung Medical Center’s mistakes during the country’s MERS virus outbreak.

While the disease has claimed 27 lives since last month, close to half of the 175 local infections of the flu-like illness are directly linked to the prestigious Seoul facility.

“I, myself, feel devastated and fully responsible,” said vice chairman Jay Y. Lee as he bowed on national television.

Best known globally for electronics products, Samsung’s hospital in the capital’s Gangnam area draws patients from around the country -- it was even the first local hospital to diagnose MERS, in a man who had returned from the Middle East.

But the facility came under criticism as it emerged that another infected man exposed around 900 people to the virus when he spent two nights coughing in Samsung’s emergency room before his condition was recognized.

Lee Kun-hee, 73, has been kept safe despite spending the entire outbreak in Samsung Medical Center following a heart attack last year.

“My father's been lying at this hospital for over a year. I understand the distress and anxiety that the patients and their families have suffered,” said Lee Jr., whose apology came on his 47th birthday.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Haziran 2015, 11:00