North Korea closes capital due to ‘respiratory disease’

Authorities in the North Korean capital Pyongyang ordered a lockdown of five days due to the increase in cases of an unspecified respiratory disease, the Russian embassy and Seoul-based NK News reported on Wednesday, citing a government warning.

The notice, shared by the embassy on its Facebook page, says that “a special anti-epidemic period has been established” and asks foreign delegations to keep staff inside their facilities. The order also asks people to take their temperature four times a day and report the results to a hospital by telephone.

The notice made no mention of Covid-19, although it cites an “increase in cases of recurrent flu and other respiratory illnesses”.

You lockdowns were first reported by South Korea’s NK News, which monitors North Korea.

Yesterday (24), the site reported that Pyongyang residents appeared to be stocking up on goods in anticipation of tighter measures. It was unclear whether other areas of the country had adopted new lockdowns.

North Korea acknowledged its first outbreak of Covid-19 last year, but in August declared victory over the virus.

The country has never confirmed how many people have caught Covid-19, apparently because it lacks the means to carry out widespread testing.

Instead, Pyongyang reported daily cases of fever patients, a number that has risen to around 4.77 million out of a population of around 25 million. But it has not reported such cases since July 29.

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Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News