STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

In its latest report, North Korea tells WHO it's still coronavirus-free

At the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago, North Korea described its efforts to keep out the virus as a “matter of national existence.”

Published: 07th April 2021 01:17 PM  |   Last Updated: 07th April 2021 01:40 PM   |  A+A-

In this Feb. 5, 2021, file photo, a staff member, right, of the Pongnam Noodle House disinfects the hands of a woman coming into its restaurant in Pyongyang, North Korea.

In this Feb. 5, 2021, file photo, a staff member, right, of the Pongnam Noodle House disinfects the hands of a woman coming into its restaurant in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

SEOUL: Isolated North Korea has continued to claim a perfect record in keeping out the coronavirus in its latest report to the World Health Organization.

At the beginning of the pandemic more than a year ago, North Korea described its efforts to keep out the virus as a “matter of national existence.” It shut its borders, banned tourists and jetted out diplomats. It still severely limits cross-border traffic and has quarantined tens of thousands of people who have shown symptoms.

But it still says it has found no case of COVID-19, a widely doubted claim given its poor health infrastructure and a porous border with China, its economic lifeline.

In an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Edwin Salvador, WHO’s representative to North Korea, said the North has reported it tested 23,121 people for the coronavirus from the beginning of the pandemic to April 1 and that all results were negative. Salvador said the North said 732 people were tested between March 26 and April 1.

WHO officials say the North is no longer providing the U.N. agency with the number of people it quarantines with suspected symptoms.

North Korea said Tuesday it would skip the Tokyo Olympics to protect athletes from the “world public health crisis caused by COVID-19.”

The U.N.-backed program to ship COVID-19 vaccines worldwide said in February that North Korea could receive 1.9 million vaccine doses in the first half of this year. However, COVAX has since warned of global shortages because the Serum Institute of India, which is licensed to produce the AstraZeneca vaccine, is putting its supplies into domestic demand while India's virus caseload is surging.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp