North Korea identifies ‘alien’ source of Covid-19 outbreak

Seoul, Jul 1 (EFE).- North Korea said the source of its Covid-19 outbreak originated from citizens touching “alien things” near the South Korean border.

The regime said that an investigation commission “scientifically and finally confirmed” that the outbreak originated in Ipho-ri, in the extreme southeast of the country about 9 kilometers from the South Korean border, according to the state news agency KCNA.

“The investigation results showed that several persons coming from the area of Ipho-ri in Kumgang County of Kangwon Province to the capital city in mid-April were in fever and a sharp increase of fever cases (a term used by the regime to refer to suspected cases, given its lack of testing capacity) was witnessed among their contacts and that a group of fevered persons emerged in the area of Ipho-ri for the first time,” it said.

Specifically, the article says that “an 18-year-old soldier surnamed Kim and a five-year-old kindergartener surnamed Wi contacted with alien things in a hill around barracks and residential quarters in Ipho-ri early in April.”

“And they showed the clinic features, to be estimated as early symptom of the epidemic infection, and tested positive for novel coronavirus. Hence, a consensus of views was reached on the cause of the infection by Covid-19,” KCNA said.

The regime suggests that the wave of Covid in the country originated from rubbish or objects that blew in from the South.

It issued “an instruction stressing the need to vigilantly deal with alien things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas along the demarcation line and borders and trace their source to the last, strengthen the all-people supervision and report system, in which anyone notifies of alien things instantly after seeing them.”

Experts consider this hypothesis highly unlikely. The South Korean secret service believes that the most likely entry route for the virus, the presence of which North Korea first detected in early May, was trade with China.

With the country reporting between 4,000 and 5,000 suspected daily cases, local authorities say that 4.74 million of its citizens (almost 20 percent of the population) have suffered from “fever” since the end of April, that 99 percent have recovered and only about 8,130 are in treatment. Only 73 people have apparently died of Covid.

The figures do not correspond to the evolution of the disease in other countries and the World Health Organization has asked the regime to share more specific data.

North Korea, which had reportedly not given a single vaccine dose as of May, has rejected offers of aid, including vaccines, from South Korea and the United States, but according to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization may have accepted vaccines from China and started managing them. EFE


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