February 25, 2024

North Korea’s ventilator imports too little, too late: Medical experts

Chinese trade data shows DPRK imported millions of masks and 1,000 ventilators in April, but no COVID vaccines

North Korea imported millions of masks and 1,000 ventilators from China in the months leading up to its COVID-19 outbreak, Chinese trade data released this month shows. But medical experts told NK News on Monday that those imports were likely inadequate for responding to the still-unfolding crisis.

Dr. Peter Collignon, an infectious disease physician at Canberra Hospital who has served on expert committees with the World Health Organization (WHO), pointed out ventilators require skilled manpower to use, something that’s harder to come by outside of Pyongyang.