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North Korea locks down Pyongyang over 'respiratory illness' - report

25 Comments

Authorities in the North Korean capital Pyongyang have ordered a five-day lockdown due to rising cases of an unspecified respiratory illness, Seoul-based NK News reported on Wednesday, citing a government notice.

The notice did not mentioned COVID-19, but said that residents in the city are required to stay in their homes through the end of Sunday and must submit to temperature checks multiple times each day, according to NK News, which monitors North Korea.

On Tuesday, the website reported that Pyongyang residents were appeared to be stocking up on goods in anticipation of stricter measures. It is unclear if other areas of the country have imposed new lockdowns.

North Korea acknowledged its first COVID-19 outbreak last year, but by August had declared victory over the virus.

The secretive country never confirmed how many people caught COVID, apparently because it lacks the means to conduct widespread testing.

Instead, it reported daily numbers of patients with fever, a tally that rose to some 4.77 million, out of a population of about 25 million. But it has not reported such cases since July 29.

State media have continued to report on anti-pandemic measures to battle respiratory diseases, including the flu, but had yet to report on the lockdown order.

On Tuesday, state news agency KCNA said the city of Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, had intensified public communication campaigns "so that all the working people observe anti-epidemic regulations voluntarily in their work and life."

© Thomson Reuters 2023.

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

25 Comments
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Ship over some masks... apparently that's what it takes.

What Tonic and Gin says. He's always right but never complete. Unfortunately. He/she forgot to mention vaccines too. (A big gaff if you ask me). I hope my comment helps clarify our stand point.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My doctor likewise had something that to her, in hindsight, also looked like Covid-19 the summer before the big outbreak in Wuhan. She was on a group tour in Thailand and the whole tour group came down with it. Nobody could figure it out. All the tests came back negative. But looking at the symptoms we had both of us would, today, immediately think it was Covid-19 but there were no tests for it when we were sick. There is also some evidence of Covid-19 in samples of waste water from Spain dating to March 2019. So I am not yet convinced anybody knows when or where Covid-19 originated.

No, we can't exactly tell the origin of the CoVid-19 virus. Viruses can develop anywhere, and they do. They often are labeled by where they are discovered and identified. In this case, it was identified in Wuhan, China. Just like it was with the Spanish flu of a century ago (which was worse than CoVid), the Hong Kong flu of the late 60's, the swine flu and the Russian flu of the mid 70's (that kept me out of school for a week). I had a bad flu in the spring of 2019, but it had none of the CoVid symptoms.

Designer 02Today  05:59 am JST

Hopefully not something new, or something of their own invention

Nobody can create a germ or virus. Germ warfare uses what already exists - like say, anthrax spores. As rotten as the Chinese CCP government is, and it is truly ROTTEN - they didn't create this. China has been suffering with this since late 2019. Yet some lunkheads have used it as an excuse to bash ethnic Chinese and even anyone of Oriental/East Asian and/or Pacific descent. That's indefensible and wrong. There's no one to blame for the CoVid-19 pandemic. It's everybody's fight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hopefully not something new, or something of their own invention

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm still willing to say that it was an accident by Hunan scientists. By not admitting the accident, China isn't likely to change any procedures to ensure it never happens again.

I would bet more than beers that Covid-19 has been circulating long before November 2019. Genetic research has revealed that the micro-organism behind Black Plague was circulating decades before the first epidemic of it in the 1300s. I was talking to my doctor about this last week. I and my office mate both had a respiratory illness in late September to mid November 2019 that in hindsight we are almost 100% certain was Covid-19. We both tried to gut it out for weeks until we could no longer drag ourselves to work, thinking it was "just the flu". Both of us tested negative for everything so the PA assumed it was just a bad case of bronchitis, gave us antibiotics and sent us home. I still have a hacking cough all these years later. My doctor likewise had something that to her, in hindsight, also looked like Covid-19 the summer before the big outbreak in Wuhan. She was on a group tour in Thailand and the whole tour group came down with it. Nobody could figure it out. All the tests came back negative. But looking at the symptoms we had both of us would, today, immediately think it was Covid-19 but there were no tests for it when we were sick. There is also some evidence of Covid-19 in samples of waste water from Spain dating to March 2019. So I am not yet convinced anybody knows when or where Covid-19 originated.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

As recently as last week DPRK was reporting a grand total of one confirmed case of Covid-19 and six deaths attributable to Covid-19. Meditate on that for a moment. How did they have six Covid deaths with only one confirmed case? Did somebody's cat get Covid and use up six of its nine lives? The mind reels. Actually it doesn't when you are dealing with, cough cough, "data" from someplace like DPRK.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Elvis is hereJan. 25  03:36 pm JST

I would normally be concerned about reports citing an "unspecified respiratory illness"

Cute. Don't you know N Korea and what they are like? The article says that:

North Korea acknowledged its first COVID-19 outbreak last year, but by August had declared victory over the virus.

Big Brother on the Telescreen: 'ATTENTION! ATTENTION! ATTENTION! . Mass routings of the Corona Army! Even more defections and mass surrenders of the virus germs! War will soon be over, if you want it! *War is Peace! ***Victory! Victory! Victory!'**.

Walter Cronkite said, '1984 may not arrive on time but there's 1985'.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The Dear Leader will lead them to great health, he will invent a drink that will bring everyone back to good health. The Grand Pooba has done it again!! What a gift from its neighbors.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

not another virus that escaped from a lab by scientists

I'm still willing to say that it was an accident by Hunan scientists. By not admitting the accident, China isn't likely to change any procedures to ensure it never happens again. Any the world gets to pay for this mistake, lies, mishandling. I'm not being anti-Chinese people. It is the govt of secrets there that bothers me and the even more secretive NK govt. With openness, everyone in the world would have been able to take science-based steps, sooner.

Regardless, I know that a few countries offered vaccines to NK. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-61533715 in 2021 and were ignored. Later, they requested vaccines https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/north-korea-covid-vaccine-coronavirus-b1781993.html but the story is unclear whether any were shipped or injected. I get the feeling that NK vaccinated their army, but not any fishermen or farmers, leading to the worst famine they've seen in generations.

So sad that foolish, proud, dictators can do so much damage to so many people.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Luckily they have nuclear weapons and millions of soldiers…

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Only one way to find out what on earth it is, go there!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

NK cringier everyday

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Ship over some masks... apparently that's what it takes.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

The world calls it Chinese virus bt NK don’t get the world news ao it is still not named till now in NK

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Which is respiratory deceases. What can we learn from this? Is this the Omicron variant? If so, it seems very severe, with earlier reports of 5 out of 25 million infected, and the lock down. How many are vaccinated? Did NK had enough COVID before to develop resistance? How does the situation compare to Japan? Are the vaccination rate and developed immunity here so much higher that we can classify it as the flu? Let's focus on facts and what we can learn from world events, rather than random slandering of our neighbors...

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I would normally be concerned about reports citing an "unspecified respiratory illness"

Cute. Don't you know N Korea and what they are like? The article says that:

North Korea acknowledged its first COVID-19 outbreak last year, but by August had declared victory over the virus.

I'd bet Wolfshine a bottle of Black Nikka and a KFC meal that it is in fact Rona. They just can't admit it, like China until very recently, that Rona has gotten the better of the N Korean leaders.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

What on earth could it possibly be?

Beats me. It couldn't be Corona because the last I heard it was harmless.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

After several years of Covid shenanigans, I would normally be concerned about reports citing an "unspecified respiratory illness" in just about any other country. However, unlike China, people don't really travel in or out of North Korea (especially these days), so if this kind of thing had to happen anywhere, eh, this is probably the best place for it to happen.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

by August had declared victory over the virus.

oops.......

Guess they should've actually paid more attention to said virus, instead of wildly shooting missiles on a weekly basis.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Oh my my. Is KimmyBoy admitting that there's something he can't fully control in his hermetic KimboKingdom? Gee, I wonder what it is......

4 ( +8 / -4 )

The leadership of that country is a ‘respiratory illness’ for all of its people.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

It sounds like something China would do. Oh, wait a minute . . .

3 ( +9 / -6 )

A present from a friendly neighbor?

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Probably not much of a lifestyle change in North Korea.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

What on earth could it possibly be?

14 ( +15 / -1 )

China should apologize to the world for COVID.

2 ( +17 / -15 )

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