Pyeongyang on alert amid fears of COVID-19 outbreak
Updated: 2020-07-31 17:07:10 KST
Guard posts for disease prevention have been set up in Pyeongyang at the entrances to the city, the subway stations and the bus terminals.
People coming into Pyeongyang must get their temperatures checked and vehicles must be sanitized.
Such intensified disease prevention measures come after the regime imposed an "maximum emergency alert" following the return to North Korea of a defector who was allegedly showing symptoms of COVID-19.
The North's state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun reported Friday that 40 new posts for disease prevention have been set up in Pyeongyang.
The regime is closely monitoring people, vehicles, and shipments coming in and out of the city.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency reported Thursday that North Korea's second-in-command Choe Ryong-hae conducted an emergency virus inspection of Gaeseong, the city where the North Korean defector returned to from the South.
Choe inspected virus prevention efforts in Gaeseong, which has been on lockdown since last Friday.
He ordered local officials to make sure food and medical supplies are provided to residents and that strict containment measures are in place.
North Korea continues to claim that it hasn't had an outbreak of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with NGOs conducting health and medical programs in North Korea on Friday, South Korea's unification minister Lee In-young promised to support the NGOs' efforts to expand cross-border exchanges.
"We want to immediately resume humanitarian exchanges and cooperation with North Korea. I think there definitely are things that we can work on right now."
He said he has taken the first step by approving an aid organization's plan to send around 668-thousand U.S. dollars of disinfectants, protective suits and COVID-19 test kits to North Korea on Thursday.
Hong Yoo, Arirang News.