SEOUL: North Korea told the World Health Organization it had tested more than 30,000 people for the coronavirus until June 10, but has yet to find a single infection. The WHO said in a surveillance report on Tuesday that North Korea’s test figures included 733 people who were tested from June 4 to 10, 149 of whom had flu-like symptoms or severe respiratory infections.
Experts largely doubt North Korea’s claim that it has not had a single case of the virus, given its poor health infrastructure and porous border with China, its main ally and lifeline. economic rescue. Describing its anti-virus efforts as a “matter of national existence,” the North has banned tourists, expelled diplomats and severely restricted cross-border trafficking and commerce.
The self-imposed lockdown has put additional pressure on an economy already plagued by decades of mismanagement and crippling US-led sanctions against the country’s nuclear weapons program. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a political conference last week called on authorities to prepare for extended COVID-19 restrictions, saying the country is not ready to open its borders anytime soon.