North Korea admitted its first outbreak of the coronavirus last year, but in August it declared victory over the pandemic. Pyongyang has not confirmed the number of people infected with the virus, apparently because supplies for nationwide testing are in short supply.
North Korean authorities have ordered a five-day lockdown in the capital, Pyongyang, due to a rise in cases of an unspecified respiratory disease, Seoul-based NK News reported on Wednesday, citing a government notification.
The site, which monitors North Korean news, stated that the notification did not refer to the Corona virus, but made it clear that residents in the city should stay in their homes until the end of next Sunday and that they should undergo a temperature measurement more than once per day.
On Tuesday, the website said Pyongyang residents appeared to be hoarding goods in anticipation of tougher measures. But it is not clear whether other regions of the country have already imposed new lockdowns.
North Korea had recognized the first outbreak of the Corona virus last year, but in August it declared its victory over the pandemic. Pyongyang has not confirmed the number of people infected with the virus, apparently because supplies for nationwide testing are in short supply.
However, it disclosed the number of people suffering from a high temperature, which rose to 4.77 million people out of its population of about 25 million. North Korea has not reported such cases since July 29.
State media has continued to cover measures to combat respiratory diseases, including influenza, but has not yet referred to the closure order.
On Tuesday, KCNA said the city of Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, had intensified public campaigns “so that all workers voluntarily abide by the anti-epidemic rules in their work and life.”