North Korea quarantines several hundred foreign diplomats

29 Février, 2020, 10:14 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Global Hawk

North Korea's state media on Tuesday called for independence from outside help, saying that having illusions about aid from "imperialists" like the USA would lead to "self-destruction". According to South Korean media, the victim, who had returned to the country after a visit to China China, was executed for risking the spread of the deadly virus.

The BBCreported on Monday that about 380 foreigners have been quarantined in Pyongyang, a lot of them diplomatic personnel confined to their compounds.

South Korea has the largest number of confirmed cases outside China after the huge peak last week.

Hakone, Japan (CNN) A plan is in the works to evacuate quarantined foreign diplomats from North Korea, a source inside the country has revealed, as concerns about the spread of the novel coronavirus grow.

Foreign Policy noted that North Korea could not possibly afford to keep its border with China closed for long, and smugglers are most likely violating the travel restrictions now in place.

Pyongyang has yet to publicly acknowledge a confirmed case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but the Central Committee of the Korean Workers' Party has been holding its high-level meetings via video conference since early February, and has also ordered the military to do the same.

In South Korea, seven people have died with 763 people infected. In the past 30 days, some 200 foreigners had already been confined to their residential complexes, but the quarantine has been prolonged.

But the biggest virus clusters have been linked to a hospital and a religious group near the south-eastern city of Daegu.

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The German Embassy, French Cooperation Office, and Swiss Development Cooperation will close operations in the capital Pyongyang completely, said the source, who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity, given the extreme sensitivity of the current situation. For the next two weeks, 50,000 residents will not be able to leave without special permission.

Under normal circumstances, news of the Supreme Leader's activities is always first in any news program, but over the past few days, news of the virus has been the top story.

The combined situation in South Korea, Iran and Italy points to the early stages of pandemic.

If countries could hold it somewhat at bay until the end of winter, there is a hope that warmer temperatures will reduce the time the virus can survive in the air, as we see with seasonal flu.

Iran said on Sunday it had 43 confirmed cases of the virus, a lot of them in the holy city of Qom.

"The problem is that right now North Korea has closed the border".

What about China, where the outbreak started?

Public health and political experts have cast doubt on this claim.

China reported 409 new infections on Monday, the bulk of which were from Wuhan, the city where the virus emerged late previous year. The country has the most confirmed coronavirus cases outside of mainland China.


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