North Korea has ordered a five-day confinement in its capital Pyongyang due to a “respiratory illness”, reported a South Korean specialized site.
The measure appears to be the first citywide measure taken since the country declared victory over COVID-19 in August 2022.
Residents of Pyongyang have been ordered to stay at home from Wednesday to Sunday and must submit to multiple temperature readings each day, Seoul-based NK News reported, citing a government document. p>
This text does not mention COVID-19 but states that the common cold is among the new diseases currently spreading in the capital.
Citing sources in Pyongyang, NK News said on Tuesday that residents of North Korea's largest city appeared to be stocking up for a possible lockdown.
It is not known whether other territories are affected by similar lockdowns and state media has not announced any new measures.
The Korean Peninsula is currently in the throes of what meteorologists describe as a Siberian cold snap, with temperatures at Pyongyang dropping to -22C.
China, a key trading partner and neighbor of North Korea, is facing a wave of infections after it ended its drastic “zero Covid” policy.
North Korea subject to a strict closure of its borders since the start of the pandemic, but authorizes certain exchanges with China.
Pyongyang announced its very first case of Covid in May 2022, before proclaiming its victory over the illness three months later.
The World Health Organization has long questioned Pyongyang's Covid statistics and the country's claims that the outbreak is under control.
North Korea has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world, according to experts, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units and no treatment for COVID-19.
According to specialist sources, Pyongyang has not vaccinated its approximately 25 million inhabitants. Other information indicates that the country would have received vaccines from China.