North Korea orders 5-day lockdown in Pyongyang

Seoul, Jan 25 (EFE).- North Korean authorities have ordered a five-day long lockdown starting Wednesday in Pyongyang due to the rising cases of respiratory illness, regional news outlets have reported.

The order urges residents of the city to stay in their houses until Sunday and submit to temperature checks several times a day, according to specialized news portal NK News, which had accessed the official North Korean government notice.

North Korean authorities cited the “rising” cases of respiratory illnesses such as common cold, and not Covid-19, as the cause of the lockdown.

At the moment, it is not known if any other areas of the country have also been included in the lockdown order.

A similar lockdown was enforced in May of 2022 when the regime acknowledged the spread of Covid-19 in North Korea.

In August 2022, North Korea announced that it had completely eradicated the virus from its territory.

However, many experts doubted the claim due to the condition of the impoverished and isolated nation’s health system and the lack of vaccines and testing, among other factors.

North Korea’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-un had declared victory over coronavirus and ordered the lifting of the stricter anti-epidemic measures in place, three months after the country officially reported its first ever covid case.

The regime claimed that during this period about 4.7 million people, accounting for 20 percent of the population, had reported fever and over 20 people had died.

These figures were not in sync with the trajectory of Covid in other countries, leading specialists to believe that a good part of the cases suspected to be Covid could have been those of typhoid fever.

Furthermore, North Korea’s state television, Korean Central Television (KCTV) on Monday broadcast a documentary praising the national management of the Covid-19 pandemic, calling it an unparalleled event that led the country to completely close its borders.

The telecast, focused on the grand victory of the quarantine imposed in the country during the health crisis, emphasized the regime’s containment measures and even included testimonies of some survivors of the fever. EFE


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