North Korea documentary praises its pandemic management

Seoul, Jan 24 (EFE).- A documentary broadcast by North Korea’s state media praised the country’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, an “unprecedented event” that led to a total closure of its borders.

The documentary, broadcast on state television channel KCTV on Monday night, reviewed everything from the regime’s containment measures to testimonies from survivors of the “fever” – a term used by the regime for possible cases – that spread across the country in 2022.

North Korea sealed its land, sea and air borders on Jan. 24, 2020, a move that kept the country even more isolated than usual for more than two years.

The documentary showed that the measures imposed by the country under its quarantine systems at the start of the pandemic included the mandatory use of masks, the closure of schools and businesses such as resorts, the strengthening of the inspection and quarantine of goods, and the disinfection of premises and transportation services.

For the first two years and three months since the pandemic broke out, North Korea claimed to be free of the virus.

In May 2022, it announced that the “fever” had spread rapidly throughout the country since the end of the previous month.

The documentary shows how information about health protocols was disseminated by state media, such as the use of a double mask before stepping outdoors, frequent hand washing and the administration of penicillin to patients, as well as the deployment of military doctors to help in treating patients.

The almost hour-long documentary includes testimonials from those who recovered from the infection, including a woman who thought she would collapse and die after running a fever of 39.8 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), as well as images of Politburo meetings on crisis management and leader Kim Jong-un visiting the national emergency prevention agency.

In August last year, Kim declared “victory” in his country’s emergency campaign against Covid-19 and ordered the lifting of prevention measures, just three months after reporting the first case in the country.

North Korea has been highlighting its anti-pandemic measures, a topic that was also raised at a major parliamentary meeting this month, in which North Korean Premier Kim Tok-hun praised the country for “the successfully tackling the worst-ever upheaval” since its founding. EFE


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