North Korea notified the World Health Organization that it had screened more than 30,000 persons for the coronavirus up to June 10 but had not found a single case of illness.
Given its weak health infrastructure and porous border with China, North Korea’s primary ally and economic lifeline, experts largely question the country’s assertion that it has not had a single case of the virus.
The North has barred visitors, flown out diplomats, and severely limited cross-border movement and trade, describing its anti-virus measures as a matter of national survival.
The self-imposed lockdown has put further burden on an economy that has already been hammered by decades of mismanagement and punishing US-led sanctions over the country’s nuclear weapons development.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called on officials to brace for extended COVID-19 restrictions during a political meeting last week, signalling that the country isn’t ready to open its borders anytime soon.
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