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No report of new coronavirus in N. Korea yet: WHO

All News 10:34 February 12, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 12 (Yonhap) -- No report of an outbreak of the new coronavirus has been received from North Korea's government, the World Health Organization's office in Pyongyang was quoted as saying.

The office told the Voice of America that it "has not received any report of coronavirus cases from the Ministry of Public Health, Democratic People's Republic of Korea," referring to the North's official name.

"WHO is working with all Member States, including DPR Korea, to respond to the new coronavirus," the office was quoted as saying.

At the North's request, WHO is also providing "laboratory reagents and personal protective equipment -- which comprises goggles, gloves, masks, gowns -- for use by health workers," the office said.

It was believed to be the first time that WHO has mentioned whether or not there is an outbreak of the virus in the communist nation, though the U.S. agency relies on voluntary reporting by its member states for the official tally.

Pyongyang has intensified efforts to contain the new coronavirus, including tightening its borders with China and strengthening the quarantine for people arriving from the neighboring country.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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