North Korea ratcheting up efforts to prevent new coronavirus
North Korea says it has quarantined foreigners as part of efforts to prevent the new coronavirus from breaking out in the country.
The North's Korean Central Broadcasting Station reported on Monday that authorities have quarantined some 380 foreigners "while intensifying isolation, medical monitoring and testing measures on those who have returned from overseas travel, those who have contacted them and those showing abnormal symptoms."
It did not provide details on the identities of the foreigners, but according to Yonhap News, they appear to be diplomats stationed in Pyongyang and people involved in overseas trading.
North Korea has not reported any case of COVID-19 infection but has taken various preventive measures against the virus.
The state radio said under stepped-up preventative measures, around 3,000 people in North Pyongan Province, which borders China, are also under monitoring for apparently showing suspected symptoms.
There are international concerns North Korea could be more vulnerable to the new virus as it shares a long and porous border with the virus-hit China, and lacks key medical supplies and infrastructure to test and treat infected people.■
<Photo: Yonhap News>
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