Connect with us

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

North Korean border city locked down over suspected Covid-19 case

Jack Burton

Published 

 on 

image
PHOTO: Forbes
  • follow us in feedly

North Korea has, until now, claimed not a single case of Covid-19 within its borders, a claim widely doubted by experts. Today, North Korea state media reports that the secretive nation’s “dear leader” Kim Jong Un has placed the city of Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, under total lockdown after a person was found with suspected coronavirus symptoms, saying he believes “the vicious virus” may have entered the country.

If the patient tests positive, he or she will be the North’s first “confirmed” coronavirus case. North Korea has consistently said it’s had no virus cases in its territory, a claim widely disputed by outside observers.

The Korean Central News Agency reports that the lockdown was declared on Friday. State media say the suspected case is a runaway who fled to South Korea years ago before illegally crossing the border back into North Korea early last week.

None of the Coronavirus Counters has regifted the case as ‘official’ at this stage.

KCNA says “respiratory secretion and blood tests show the person is suspected to have been infected” with the virus. It reports that the suspected case and others who were in contact, as well as those who have been to Kaesong in the last 5 days, were placed under quarantine.

Earlier this year North Korea shut down nearly all cross-border traffic, banned foreign tourists altogether and mobilised health workers to quarantine anyone with symptoms, describing its anti-virus efforts as a “matter of national existence”. But the Kaesong lockdown is the first such (known) measures taken in a North Korean city to control possible infections.

Experts say a Covid-19 outbreak in North Korea could have dire consequences because of the country’s poor public health infrastructure and chronic lack of medical supplies.

Kaesong, a city of an estimated 200,000 people, is just north of the heavily fortified land border with South Korea. It once hosted the Koreas’ jointly run industrial complex, which has been stalled since 2016 amid nuclear tensions. In June North Korea blew up an inter-Korean liaison office there to protest a campaign by South Korean activists who were sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

Over 33,000 North Koreans have fled to South Korea over the past 2 decades to avoid poverty and political suppression, mostly via the porous border with China. It’s rare for North Korean refugees to return to their homeland by recrossing the mine-strewn border.

SOURCES: Thai PBS World | AP

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.



Find more SE Asian News courtesy of The Thaiger.

Broke? Find employment in Southeast Asia with JobCute Thailand. Rich? Invest in real estate across Asia with FazWaz Property Group. Even book medical procedures worldwide with MyMediTravel, all powered by DB Ventures.

Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Henry

    July 26, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Never questioned the photo? Old photo of Kim Jong Il.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 update: 15 new imported cases, no new deaths (August 7)

Jack Burton

Published

on

image
PHOTO: The Diplomat

In the biggest jump in weeks, perhaps months, the Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration today reported that 15 Thais tested positive in state quarantine over the previous 24 hour period. It was, however, the 74th day without a domestically transmitted case. CCSA spokesman Dr Taweesin Visanuyothin said all 15 new patients were asymptomatic, 4 men who recently returned from Egypt were found positive on August 5; there were 5 previously known cases on the same flight. 10 men had returned from Saudi Arabia and tested positive on July 25 – there were previous cases on that flight- and a 29-year-old […]

Continue Reading

South

Mother, infant son reunited after 5 months

Jack Burton

Published

on

image
PHOTO: Abdullah Benjakat

A young Malaysian mother was reunited with her infant son yesterday after being stranded in Thailand for 5 months. She was marooned while on a visa run when Malaysia closed its borders in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 18 year old Nurahaleesa Jeh-awae was joyfully reunited with her 6 month old son at the Sadao district border crossing in Songkhla province. The Southern Border Provinces Administrative Centre says Nurahaleesa worked at a restaurant in Malaysia and gave premature birth in Malaysia’s Selangor State on February 27. On March 17 she returned to Sadao district in Thailand’s southern border province […]

Continue Reading

Hong Kong

Concerns over virus spread in boarding houses as Hong Kong records 95 new cases

Maya Taylor

Published

on

image
PHOTO: Jimmy Chan on Pexels

Hong Kong has seen a slight uptick in Covid-19 infections, with a new daily total of 95 cases. A report in Coconuts says a domestic helper from Indonesia has tested positive for the virus after a stay in a boarding house. Such boarding houses are used by agencies in Hong Kong to accommodate domestic workers who are in between jobs. The facilities are usually cramped and overcrowded, providing an ideal breeding ground for a contagious disease, as Singapore has already learnt. There are now concerns that similar outbreaks of the virus are developing in Hong Kong’s boarding homes, with Chuang […]

Continue Reading
Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending