Korea – According to reports in the media, North Korea has eased movement restrictions that had been enforced in its capital city of Pyongyang after the government made its first admission of a Covid-19 breakout some weeks ago. The isolated country claims that the virus issue is now under control.
Since the declaration of a state of emergency and the implementation of a statewide lockdown earlier this month, the North has been engaged in a fierce struggle against an unprecedented Covid wave. This has fueled fears about a lack of vaccinations, medical supplies, and food shortages.
According to the Kyodo news agency in Japan, which cited an anonymous person in Beijing as its source, the restrictions were removed as of yesterday.
A spokeswoman for South Korea’s unification ministry, which is in charge of managing inter-Korean relations, said that the government was unable to corroborate the information since the North’s official media had not publicized the decision.
The report by Kyodo was published not long after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un presided over a meeting of the country’s politburo to discuss revising anti-epidemic restrictions. During the meeting, Kim Jong-un stated that the situation regarding the first Covid outbreak in the country was “improving.”
“The Political Bureau examined the issue of effectively and quickly coordinating and enforcing the anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines given the current stable anti-epidemic situation,” the state media outlet for the North, KCNA, said yesterday. “The Political Bureau examined the issue of effectively and quickly coordinating and enforcing the anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines.”
According to KCNA, North Korea reported 100,710 new persons having fever symptoms and one more fatality as of yesterday evening. This compares to around 390,000 people who displayed fever symptoms two weeks ago. The number of fatalities has reached seventy.
Because there does not seem to be enough testing supplies in North Korea, the overall number of persons who have tested positive for the coronavirus has not been verified. The declared estimates may be lower than they really are, according to some experts, and it is difficult to determine the true scope of the problem at this point.