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N. Korea stepping up efforts to prevent influx of coronavirus: report

All News 09:58 February 02, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is ratcheting up efforts to prevent an influx of the new coronavirus into the country, the country's main newspaper said Sunday.

The communist state has not yet reported the outbreak of the deadly virus but given its proximity to China, it has been extremely vigilant against the outbreak of the novel virus.

North Korea has shut down all its air and railway routes across its borders with China in an apparent effort to prevent the spread of the new strain of coronavirus into the country, according to the British government.

Pyongyang has announced that "all air and train routes between North Korea and China are temporarily suspended as of 31 January 2020" in response to the outbreak of the new virus across the globe, the British foreign ministry said earlier on its website.

This photo, captured from the Korean Central TV in North Korea on Feb. 1, 2020, shows employees in sanitary suits at Pyongyang International Airport checking a thermal scanner, part of an effort to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korea has also decided to keep all foreigners arriving in the country via China isolated for up to one month to prevent the pneumonia-like illness from spreading onto its soil, according to the Russian Embassy.

The Rodong Sinmun carried multiple articles detailing preventive work being done in Pyongyang and other cities against the coronavirus, which was first reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late December. It has since claimed over 300 lives in China and infected many others in the country and around the world.

One Rodong article stated that North Korea's state disease control center and its national quality management body have conducted checks on North Korean residents returning from overseas trips, with particular attention being paid to areas bordering China.

A separate feature showed preventive measures being taken at Pyongyang International Airport, the only international airport in the North Korean capital.

"In order to completely keep the new cornonavirus from spreading, (airport authorities) have taken an aggressive stance and have been undertaking checkups and quarantine efforts inside airplanes," the report stated.

This photo, captured from the Korean Central TV in North Korea on Feb. 1, 2020, shows a security guard at Pyongyang International Airport wearing a mask as a measure against the new coronavirus. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)



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