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North Korea lifts Covid-19 lockdown amid 'stable' virus...

Covid-19

COVID-19

North Korea lifts Covid-19 lockdown amid ‘stable’ virus situation

A photo released by the official North Korean Central News Agency on 20 May 2022 shows staff at the Central Zoo conducting disinfection work to curb the current coronavirus disease health crisis in Pyongyang, North Korea. (Photo: EPA-EFE/KCNA)
By Reuters
30 May 2022 0

SEOUL, May 30 (Reuters) - North Korea has lifted movement restrictions imposed in the capital Pyongyang after its first admission of Covid-19 outbreak weeks ago, media reported, as the isolated country says the virus situation is now under control.

The North has been in a heated battle against an unprecedented Covid-19 wave since declaring a state of emergency and imposing a nationwide lockdown this month, fuelling concerns about a lack of vaccines, medical supplies and food shortages.

As of Sunday, the restrictions had been lifted, Japan’s Kyodo news agency said, citing an unnamed source in Beijing.

A spokesman for South Korea’s unification ministry handling inter-Korean affairs said it could not confirm the report, as the North’s state media had not announced the decision.

The Kyodo report came shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un presided over a politburo meeting to discuss revising anti-epidemic restrictions, assessing the situation over the country’s first Covid-19 outbreak was “improving.”

“The Political Bureau examined the issue of effectively and quickly coordinating and enforcing the anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines given the current stable anti-epidemic situation,” the North’s state media KCNA said on Sunday.

North Korea reported 100,710 more people showing fever symptoms and one additional death as of Sunday evening, compared with some 390,000 two weeks ago, KCNA said. The death toll rose to 70.

North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people testing positive for the coronavirus, apparently lacking in testing supplies. Experts have said the announced figures could be underreported, and that it is hard to assess the actual scale of the situation.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; editing by Diane Craft and Gerry Doyle)

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"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

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