North Korea has yet to officially report any coronavirus cases. But it just quarantined 380 foreigners.
- Three-hundred eighty foreigners in Pyongyang, North Korea, have been placed in medical quarantine, state media reported Monday.
- The isolated, secretive country has yet to announce any cases of the novel coronavirus. On February 19, the World Health Organization announced it had "no indications" North Korea was facing an outbreak.
- Diplomats comprise the majority of those in quarantine. Some others are international traders. Of the 380, around 200 have been under quarantine for the last 30 days. They expected the lockdown to be lifted - but it was extended instead.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread and fears are swirling about the prospect of a global pandemic, North Korea has quarantined 380 foreigners, most of whom are diplomats, state media reported on Monday. Around 200 of those foreigners have been under quarantine for the last thirty days.The state has quarantined the foreign nationals while "while intensifying isolation, medical monitoring and testing measures on those who have returned from overseas travel, those who have contacted them, and those showing abnormal symptoms," according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency, which cited North Korean state media.Advertisement
North Korea is one of the most isolated, secretive countries in the world - and the spread of the coronavirus has only served to exacerbate its isolation. In an effort to stave off the coronavirus, the state has blocked foreign tourists - most of whom come from China - from entry, the Washington Post reported in late January.
Though the nationalities of the quarantined individuals are unknown, they are believed to mostly be diplomats stationed in the capital, Pyongyang.If the quarantine appears somewhat perplexing, it's because the country has not reported a single case of the novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
'It will be dangerous for them'Advertisement
"There's not enough medicine for the country," Nagi Shafik, a former WHO and UNICEF official in Pyongyang, told Insider. "I'm really concerned about them facing an outbreak. It will be dangerous for them. It could go everywhere."
"They cannot produce the medicine they need because of the sanctions," Shafik continued. "Nothing new has come to the country to updates their medicine or technology. What even is the best doctor without equipment?"Elsewhere, some 3,000 people in the North Korean province of North Pyongan are being monitored for potential COVID-19 symptoms, the BBC said citing state media. And on February 21, the country canceled its yearly marathon in Pyongyang that typically attracts participants from around the world, the BBC said. Advertisement
- Read more:
- The coronavirus death toll has reached 2,626, with more than 79,000 infected. Here's everything we know about the outbreak.
- The coronavirus has reportedly spread to North Korea. Experts say the country isn't equipped to fight it.
- A couple flew on Delta from Hawaii to Japan and then tested positive for coronavirus. Now the airline is notifying the other passengers.
- Chinese subways are using artificial intelligence facial recognition scanners to help detect whether people have coronavirus
- Nagaland grapples with daily spike in COVID-19 cases
- PTI tally of COVID-19 cases and deaths in India at 6:45pm
- NDRF man tests COVID positive after return from cyclone-hit Bengal, 173 being tested
- Indonesia records single-day high in new cases
- Researchers at IIT-Hyderabad develop low-cost test kit that can detect COVID-19 within 20 minutes