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[Newsmaker] North Korea enforces tougher antivirus measures in Pyongyang amid heightened alert

Temperature checks are carried out on people in Pyongyang amid the coronavirus pandemic. (KCNA-Yonhap)

Temperature checks are carried out on people in Pyongyang amid the coronavirus pandemic. (KCNA-Yonhap)

North Korea has been enforcing tougher antivirus measures in Pyongyang since the capital was recently put on the highest level of alert against the global coronavirus pandemic, according to state media.

“Preventive efforts to block the inflow of the vicious virus into Pyongyang have been under way in a more proactive manner,” the state-run Korean Central Broadcasting station said.

All people entering through the Mankyongdae region, a western gateway to Pyongyang, should get their temperatures taken, while goods in warehouses have to be sanitized.

Doctors in the Sonkyo region, the southern district of Pyongyang, are ordered to check on local people having fever or respiratory symptoms every day. Water supply facilities in the Moranbong district of Pyongyang have also been sterilized, according to the report.

On Wednesday, state media said that Pyongyang has been placed on the highest level of alert against the coronavirus, suspending the operation of public facilities, such as restaurants and public bathhouses and restricting the movement of people in the capital.

North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has taken nationwide efforts to prevent an outbreak of the contagious disease, including the border closure put in place early this year.

A World Health Organization report showed that around 700 people in North Korea currently remain in quarantine for a possibility of virus infection.

Last week, South Korea’s intelligence agency said that North Korea recently imposed a blockade on Pyongyang to prevent the inflow of the coronavirus. It also said that prolonged restrictions on the movement of people and goods have been aggravating the North’s economic conditions. (Yonhap)

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