North Korea's Covid-19 response has been a "brilliant success," says Kim Jong Un

North Korea’s Covid-19 response has been a “brilliant success,” says Kim Jong Un

Kim told a summit of top politicians that they had stopped the Korano novel from penetrating a very closed country, North Korean state media reported.

“We have fully prevented the invasion of the malignant virus and maintained a steady state against the epidemic despite the global health crisis, which is a brilliant success,” the state-run KCNA news agency said on Friday.

However, Kim also complained to officials for complacency as the global health crisis has not yet subsided.

“The hasty relief of anti-government measures will lead to an unthinkable and irreparable crisis,” Kim said in a statement.

Pictures released by the KCNA of the meeting showed that Kim presides over dozens of employees who do not seem to be socializing. No one appeared wearing masks.

But diplomatic sources based in Pyongyang said on the streets, everyone is wearing masks and practicing some form of social distance. Life has largely returned to normal in the North Korean capital, they said, and construction sites, shops and hotels are now open. Schools reopened there in June, a source said.

Sources said it appears North Korean officials are convinced they have control of the virus, at least in Pyongyang, although one source said he had not heard of anyone being tested.

The meeting was Kim’s first public appearance in weeks. The young North Korean leader has maintained a very busy schedule of public events in recent years, but has maintained a surprisingly low profile for the past three months.

The chaos in Korea sees Kim Jong Un's sister emerge stronger than ever
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Kim’s absence has sparked speculation about his health – which is particularly unhealthy for a man in his mid-30s – and whether a number of cases have surfaced in North Korea. Some analysts believed it was likely to be protected by the general public if the virus began to spread through North Korea.

More than 10.8 million people around the world have been infected with the corano novel and more than half a million have died as a result of the virus. Every country in East Asia has reported at least one Covid-19 case – except in North Korea.

Public health experts say it is highly unlikely that the virus has reached the country in any form. One of the most likely scenarios is that the virus may have entered the northern border with China, where smuggling is common. Cornish roosters have been spotted in northeastern China, including one in Jilin province in May.

Experts believe North Korea will be particularly vulnerable to a Covid-19 eruption due to poor health care infrastructure.

But the country is also somewhat good at preventing the virus from penetrating its borders. North Korea has stopped allowing people to enter when the pandemic first appeared months ago and people inside the country are not enjoying the freedom to move as they wish. Prosecutors say the average North Korean is not allowed to travel away from home without government approval.

A spokesman for the World Health Organization in North Korea told NK News that 922 people in the country had been tested for the virus, all of them negative. North Korea’s population is likely to be around 25 million, although an exact number is unclear because Pyongyang has no demographic information.

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