North Korea ordered confinement in Pyongyang for a “respiratory disease”

FILE PHOTO: A sign showing a scene of transporting medical products is displayed on an empty street amid growing fears over the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Pyongyang, North Korea. Kyodo via REUTERS (KYODO/)

The North Korean authorities have ordered a five-day confinement starting this Wednesday in Pyongyangas a result of the increase in infections of an unspecified respiratory disease, according to what the specialized media NK News reported today.

The ordinance encourages citizens to stay in their homes until next Sunday and send body temperature measurements to the authorities several times a dayaccording to the aforementioned outlet, which had access to the official communication of the regime.

The North Korean authorities pointed to the “increase” in cases of respiratory diseases such as common coldalthough they did not mention the covid-19.

On Tuesday, the website reported that Pyongyang residents appeared to be stocking up on goods in anticipation of tougher measures. It is not clear if other areas of the country have imposed new lockdowns.

The North Korean authorities pointed to the
The North Korean authorities pointed to the “increase” in cases of respiratory diseases such as the common cold, although they did not mention covid-19. KCNA via REUTERS (KCNA/)

At the moment it is unknown if there are other areas of the country subject to the confinement ordinance, which is similar to another issued in May 2022, when the regime recognized the spread of COVID in the country.

North Korea announced last August that it had completely eradicated the virus from its territory, a claim that was quarantined by many experts due to the conditions of the impoverished and isolated country’s health system and its lack of vaccines and tests, among other factors.

North Korean leader kim jong unthen declared the “victory” over the covid and ordered the lifting of the most severe anti-epidemic measures three months after the country officially detected its first case of coronavirus since the pandemic began.

The regime assured that in that period some 4.7 million people -or 20% of the country’s population- had a fever and just over twenty died, data that does not match the evolution of the pandemic in other countriesand that lead specialists to think that a good part of the cases recorded as suspected covid could be typhoid fever.

The Comas Inspection area finds seafood establishments in poor condition.
People began to stock up on food to get them through the days of confinement.

Likewise, North Korean state television broadcast a documentary last Monday extolling the national management of the covid-19 pandemic, an “unprecedented event” that led the country to a total closure of its borders.

The broadcast, focused on “the great victory of the quarantine” that was applied in the country during the health crisis, reviewed everything from the regime’s containment measures to testimonies from survivors of the “fever” that spread in 2022 in its territory.

On Tuesday, the state news agency KCNA It said the city of Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, had stepped up public communication campaigns “for all workers to voluntarily observe anti-epidemic rules in their work and life.”

(with information from EFE and Reuters)

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