Authorities in North Korea have ordered a five-day lockdown for residents in the capital city of Pyongyang starting Wednesday over “rising” cases of respiratory illness, reported Seoul-based NK News citing a government notice. The notice said that an illness is currently spreading in the capital including the common cold but did not mention Covid-19.
Residents are required to stay in their homes through the end of Sunday and must submit to temperature checks several times per day, the notice said.
As per the report, the notice did not specify about lockdowns in other cities.
The notice by the North Korean government came a day after the publication reported Pyongyang residents “panic buying” food in large quantities amid rumours of multi day lockdown in the city. As per the report citing sources, the number of North Korean staffers conducting body temperature checks at entrances of stores and public venues had increased to two to three people.
North Korea had acknowledged its first Covid-19 outbreak in 2022 but had declared its victory over the virus by August. The secretive regime has never confirmed the number of people who caught covid, apparently because it lacks the means to conduct large-scale testing.
Instead, the country has reported a daily number of patients with fever, a tally that rose to 4.77 million out of a population of about 25 million, although it has not reported such cases since July 29.
The state media has been reporting on anti-pandemic measures to counter the respiratory diseases including flu but has 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”.
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”, reported Reuters.