North Korea – one of the most isolated countries in the world. Only a few information come from the dictator-ruled country. And of these, only a few are independently verifiable. This also applies to information about the novel Coronavirus in North Korea, which called for life in a neighbouring country, China is now just under 1400 people.
The world health organization, WHO, stated that North Korea had not reported any Covid-19-infections, such as the South Korean Yonhap news Agency and the newspaper “Korea Times” reports. “The WHO has received from the Ministry of health no report on Coronavirus cases,” said Edwin Ceniza Salvador, representatives of the UN Agency in North Korea. “The people’s Republic of Korea shall, like other countries, measures for the protection of the health of their population,” he said.
On request of North Korea, the WHO point of “laboratory reagents, and personal protective equipment – goggles, gloves, masks, gowns – for health professionals available,” reported Yonhap. North Korean media had reported that there were no confirmed cases of the virus infection, even though it would mean that some people were isolated because of suspected symptoms.
However, there are doubts about the information from North Korea. Thus, the “Korea Times wrote” citing the newspaper “JoongAng Ilbo” a week ago, a woman in Pyongyang was infected with the Virus after you had been in China. Also, the South Korean newspaper “Chosun Ilbo” reported on cases in North Korea.
According to the South Korean news portal “the Daily NK,” which specializes in news from North Korea, to give it even more Dead. A “senior official” from Pyongyang told the Portal: “A woman in her fifties who suffered from the end of January with a fever and cough, died suddenly at 27. January.” He further said: “The authorities have submitted to a local police station, documents relating to her death, showing that she died of an acute pneumonia.”
The indication that the woman had died of pneumonia, was an “attempt by the North Korean authorities to conceal the cause of death,” writes “Daily NK”. The officials told the media that the Deceased had been cremated by the authorities in the country. “If you would have died to a normal pneumonia, would have taken care of your family with the cremation. Her family believes that she was cremated due to a Coronavirus infection by the authorities,” he explained.
As the “Daily NK” reports citing its source in Pyongyang, so far, a total of three people in the capital to the Virus died. All had been treated in hospital No. 3 of the city under quarantine. 18 Corona-patients are according to the information portal there is currently under quarantine.
According to a further source of the “Daily NK” in the North Korean province of Pyongan province, bordering China, with a further five people, the virus disease victim. The authorities should have arranged that the bodies are quickly eliminated, and the deaths should be kept secret from the Public. The news site “the Daily Beast” reports, the death toll had previously spilled over the border river Yalu river from China into the country. Officially confirm or verify the messages of “the Daily NK is not”.
In spite of all the alleged secrecy, not to forget the Coronavirus in North Korea. The state reported on TV and in a message to the state news Agency KCNA says, the authorities would seize at the borders, ports and airports thorough Hygiene and anti-epidemic measures to prevent the Virus from entering the country. In addition, foreign-controlled and investigated and, where appropriate, isolated.
In a further message it was said last week: “The democratic people’s Republic of Korea has intensified the prevention of novel Coronavirus infections.” A measure is therefore, among other things, the disinfection of passenger Cars. Also, the production of drugs for the prevention of Covid-19-disease had been increased.
But, apparently, there should be stricter measures. According to the “Daily NK” has the head of state, Kim Jong-Un ordered that “to check all foreign embassies in Pyongyang”, in order to identify diplomats with suspicious symptoms in connection with the Coronavirus, and “deport them temporarily”. It is employees of the foreign Ministry and the health authorities will be gone the messages to the measures. Also, the family members of Embassy employees will be reviewed accordingly. The employees of the North should not be able to perform Korean foreign Ministry on the instructions of Kim’s, threatening them with punishment, so the news portal.
The Reuters news Agency reported in late January, North Korea and all foreigners, coming from China, a month in quarantine. In addition, several foreign tour operators have said that North Korea let foreign tourists no longer enter the country. Apparently, the entry to barrier for so long, until there is a vaccine.
The harsh actions of North Korea could have serious consequences for the economy of the country, reports Reuters. The economic lifeblood to China and Russia were almost severed. “You keep the cargo out and keep the Chinese out. No one can go in or out“, – quotes the news Agency an unnamed source. Many of the raw materials that would be needed for the production, came from China.
According to the “Daily Beast” was cancelled in Pyongyang, even a military parade, apparently out of fear of a spread of the Virus. Bruce Bennett, a longtime Analyst at the Think Tank Rand Corporation, told the news site, the government had to take such hard measures as the health system of the country was deficient. “North Korea vaccine and medical skills are lacking,” said Bennett, “so you must act by preventing the disease coming to North Korea.”
Victor Cha and Marie DuMond from the center for strategic and international studies in Washington, writing in an article in “Beyond Parallel”, a web site, the niche for the Korean reunification begins: “The Coronavirus is a unique threat to North Korea.” Because: “If there are reports of the Virus in North Korea, we should expect that the Virus will quickly spread, as the state is able to have a pandemic to contain.”
The North Korea expert Steve Tharp said, “the Daily Beast”, the leadership in North Korea understands very well that this pandemic would spread rapidly in the population, and “due to the lack of medical infrastructure in the country and the low disease resistance of the population by years of Hunger” in North Korea would be much more dangerous than other places.
Sources: news agencies, Yonhap and Reuters, “Korea Times”, “Daily NK”, “the Daily Beast”, “Beyond Parallel”, KCNA, “Chosun Ilbo”, “JoongAng Ilbo”