Samsung scion regrets over Mers outbreak

Jay Y. Lee, the only son of Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, said the conglomerate would do everything it could to stop the outbreak and revamp care at Samsung Medical Centre.



By (Reuters)

Published: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 12:45 AM

Last updated: Thu 21 May 2020, 1:32 PM

Seoul — 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 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) at a Seoul hospital run by a group foundation.
About half of the 175 Mers cases in South Korea have been traced to the Samsung Medical Centre, tarnishing the image of one of the country’s most prestigious hospitals. The South Korean outbreak is the largest outside Saudi Arabia, and 27 patients have died.
 Jay Y. Lee, the only son of Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, said the conglomerate would do everything it could to stop the outbreak and revamp care at Samsung Medical Centre, located in Seoul’s wealthy Gangnam district.
 Lee Kun-hee has been hospitalised at the centre since a heart attack last year.  “Our Samsung Medical Centre was unable to stop the Mers infection and its spread, and caused too much suffering and concern to the public. I bow my head in apology,” the younger Lee said in rare public remarks by the man set to lead South Korea’s largest family-run conglomerate, or chaebol.
 “We have failed to live up to the expectation and trust of the public,” he said.
 Lee had previously visited the hospital during the outbreak but did not make a statement. The hospital’s chief has also made public apologies.  South Korea’s Mers outbreak, traced to a businessman who returned last month from the Middle East, has scared off tourists and dealt a blow to the economy as consumers stay home.— Reuters


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