North Korea Crisis Imposes 5-Day Lockdown for Respiratory Illness

Residents in the city ordered to remain indoors until Sunday’s end, notice omits COVID-19 mention. Here is all you need to know about North Korea crisis.

Residents in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang have been ordered to stay in their homes for five days in response to a rising number of cases of an unspecified respiratory illness. This news was reported by Seoul-based NK News, which cites a government notice. 

What the notice received from government entail?

The notice did not mention COVID-19, but stated that residents in the city must submit to temperature checks multiple times a day and are required to remain indoors until the end of Sunday. On Tuesday, NK News reported that Pyongyang residents were seen stocking up on goods in anticipation of stricter measures. It is currently unclear if other areas in the country have imposed similar lockdowns.

North Korea confirmed its first outbreak of COVID-19 last year, however, by August they declared victory over the virus. The secretive country never revealed the exact number of people affected by COVID, this is probably due to their lack of resources for widespread testing.

North Korea had instead reported daily numbers of patients with fever, which totaled up to around 4.77 million out of a population of 25 million. However, they have not reported such cases since July 29th. Despite this, state media have still been reporting on anti-pandemic measures to combat respiratory diseases such as the flu, but had yet to report on the recent lockdown order.

What KCNA announced?

On Tuesday, the state-run news agency KCNA announced that the city of Kaesong, located near the border with South Korea, has been intensifying public communication campaigns to ensure that “all working people voluntarily observe anti-epidemic regulations in their work and daily life.”

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 Shubham sharma 
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