Pregnant women in North Korea are being forced to give birth in warehouses and hotels as the country buckles under its COVID crisis: report
North Koreais treating pregnant women in quarantine like any other COVID patient, RFA reported.
- Expectant mothers are given just two painkiller tablets a day, two North Korean sources told RFA.
Pregnant women in North Korea who tested positive for
The only medical care quarantined expectant mothers in South Pyongan province received was two painkillers per day — the same medication given to all COVID patients in North Korea, the two residents told RFA.
North Korean authorities put many pregnant Covid sufferers in warehouses, cooperative farms, factories, or hotels hastily converted into quarantine centers, the US government-funded outlet reported.
One source in the city of Anju told RFA she knew of two stillbirths in a hotel that housed 200 residents, including one case where a doctor helped to deliver the child.
According to the source, authorities haven't provided further care or treatment to mothers — even if they have high fevers or show signs of postpartum depression.
According to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine published by the National Institutes of Health, pregnant women with COVID-19 should receive maternal and fetal monitoring and access to a "multispecialty, team-based approach that may include consultation with obstetric, maternal-fetal medicine, infectious disease, pulmonary-critical care, and pediatric specialists, as appropriate."
"Families are outraged that the quarantine officials, who say they can only let the grieving mothers go out if they recover from their COVID-19 symptoms," she said, per RFA.
North Korea acknowledged its first case of COVID-19 on May 13, after months of claiming that it had zero cases or transmissions through the entire pandemic.
Since then, the number of cases in the country is thought to have surpassed 2 million, though a severe lack of testing kits has made it difficult for Kim Jong Un's regime to determine if the infections are anything more than sick with fever.
The embattled country has struggled to deal with the outbreak, telling residents to gargle saltwater and drink willow leaf tea as a remedy. Kim blasted his own officials' COVID-19 response at a recent party meeting, blaming them for their "non-positive attitude, slackness, and non-activity," state media reported on May 18.
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