Wednesday, July 28, 2021

North Korea tells WHO it has detected no virus cases

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SEOUL: North Korea told the World Health Organization that it screened more than 30,000 people for the coronavirus as of June 10, but has yet to find a single infection.
The WHO said in a monitoring report Tuesday that North Korea’s test numbers included 733 people who were tested between June 4-10, of whom 149 had flu-like illnesses or severe respiratory infections. .
Experts widely doubt North Korea’s claim that it has not had a single case of the virus, given its poor health infrastructure and porous border with China, its main ally and economic sustenance.
Describing its anti-virus efforts as a “matter of national existence,” North Korea has banned tourists, fired diplomats, and severely restricted cross-border traffic and trade. The self-imposed blockade has put more strain on an economy already battered by decades of mismanagement and crippling sanctions led by the United States on the country’s nuclear weapons program.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, during a political conference last week, asked officials to prepare for prolonged COVID-19 restrictions, indicating that the country is not ready to open its borders anytime soon.
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