Coronavirus North Korea crisis: Kim puts hermit state on lockdown with bizarre measures

The secretive state claims it is the only neighbour of China not to have reported a single case and citizens are now being ordered to follow with “absolute obedience” advice from health officials. Some of North Korea’s measures include month-long quarantines door-to-door health check-ups since the start of this month.

New arrivals into the country are also subject to 30 days in isolation, while citizens have been warned “sitting down and talking with each other” can spread the fatal virus. 

The official mouthpiece of the Workers’ Party urged residents to show “absolute obedience” to orders from the state and health authorities.

It said: “We should bear in mind that any moment of complacency could result in irreversible catastrophic consequences and should maintain a high state of alert.”

North Korean citizens have also been instructed on hygiene practices from loudspeaker vans being driven around the city.

Everyday activities and hobbies like going to the skating rink, painting classes, swimming pool, the city’s Orthodox church and taekwondo gym have also been placed on lockdown.

And earlier this week North Korean citizens were urged to avoid gathering in public places – and even restaurants – over fears of the “devastating consequences” if the country is hit by the coronavirus.

The party’s mouthpiece warned: “Sitting down and dining together and talking with each other can itself become the main spreading ground of the infectious disease.”

It comes as the Russian ambassador spoke of a “morally crushing” situation in Kim Jong-un’s nation where foreign diplomats have even been banned from walking around the city of Pyongyang.

Alexander Matsegora told Russia’s TASS news agency the embassy had been “left without diplomatic mail”, adding: “We did not manage to get medicines and supplies for our first-aid post.”

Holidaymakers trapped in Tenerife coronavirus hotel sunbathe by pool 
Coronavirus latest: Home testing to be introduced in the UK 
Coronavirus: Donald Trump warned US ‘not prepared at all’ for epidemic

Staff are only permitted to leave the premises to drop rubbish at a landfill where “Korean specialists immediately disinfect our truck at the gates of the embassy”.

Meanwhile, diplomatic work has been shut down with North Korean officials are unable to carry out work or communications with embassies of other nations. Contact has been limited to a special mailbox and telephone calls.

Mr Matsegora added: “It is very important to understand that the issues of state security, the ideology and dignity of the country – in its North Korean understanding, of course – always and definitely prevail over economic considerations.”

Coronavirus – known as COVID-19 – has killed more than 2,700 people across the world after it originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Meanwhile, South Korea reported 284 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday.

The new cases pushed the total tally to 1,261, with the numbers expected to rise as the government widens its testing.

It comes after the US military reported its first case of the coronavirus in a 23-year-old soldier based in Camp Carroll, about 12 miles from the South Korean city of Daegu.

Source: Read Full Article