North Korea taking “high-intensity” steps to fight coronavirus spread: Rodong
North Korean authorities have stepped up measures intended to prevent the spread of the Chinese coronavirus, the ruling party daily reported on Tuesday, setting up quarantines at the country’s borders, ports, and airports and isolating those believed to have been exposed to the illness.
In what represents state media’s first reporting on the DPRK’s strict new rules put in place to stem the virus, the Rodong Sinmun reported that the country’s Ministry of Health was working to “thoroughly establish quarantine measures.”
“Workers in the sanitary and prevention of epidemics sector are establishing high-intensity measures to prevent this disease from entering our country, by thoroughly devising sanitary and quarantine programs at borders, ports, and airfields,” it reported.
Those coming into the DPRK from abroad, it continued, are now subject to “medical surveillance,” with steps being taken to “isolate the suspected patients at the right time.”
Measures are being taken to ensure the virus is not spreading among the population, the article said, with North Korean scientists also working to develop a treatment for the illness.
“Doctors all over the country visited their resident districts, diagnosing patients with fever and people with pneumonia that do not respond well to treatment, and are pursuing programs ahead of time to isolate the suspected patients — in liaison with quarantine agency — thoroughly when found out,” it said.
“Drug production units are fighting to produce a lot of anti-viral drugs… made with the common medicine materials in our country.”
The DPRK’s Korean Central Television (KCTV) also on Monday night reported on the spread of the virus abroad, as well as offering advice for how best viewers can protect themselves.
The state media reporting comes amid increasing global concern about the spread of the new coronavirus, now reported to have infected close to 4,500 and killed over a hundred people in China.
Believed to have its origins in a meat and seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, cases of infection are now reported across the country, as well as in South Korea, Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
North Korea has in response closed its borders to all international tourism and temporarily “completely forbidden” resident foreigners from traveling to China.
Friday then saw multiple flights between Pyongyang and Chinese cities operated by Air China and the DPRK’s Air Koryo canceled amid concerns over the spread of the virus.
In a statement, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang said that a suspension of Air China flights between Pyongyang and Beijing would last “until February 10.”
Jeongmin Kim contributed translation
Edited by James Fretwell
North Korean authorities have stepped up measures intended to prevent the spread of the Chinese coronavirus, the ruling party daily reported on Tuesday, setting up quarantines at the country's borders, ports, and airports and isolating those believed to have been exposed to the illness.
In what represents state media's first reporting on the DPRK's strict new rules put in place to stem the virus, the Rodong Sinmun reported that the country's Ministry of Health was working to "thoroughly establish quarantine measures."