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N. Korea stresses prevention of animal-related diseases amid coronavirus battle

All News 11:24 February 28, 2020

SEOUL, Feb. 28 (Yonhap) -- North Korea is strengthening efforts to prevent the African swine fever and other animal-related diseases, its official news agency said Friday, even as the country is focused on blocking the outbreak of the new coronavirus.

North Korea has not reported any cases of COVID-19 virus infection, but it has called for nationwide efforts to prevent the breakout of the virus that originated in neighboring China and has been spreading to many countries.

In an article titled "Preventive measures against veterinary virus infection," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the country is also actively taking measures to prevent the spread of African swine fever and avian flu.

Pyongyang's veterinary quarantine center is "dispatching officials and experts to the provinces and strengthening the network so as not to miss out on the slightest symptoms and to respond right away," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

North Korea is also installing observation posts to examine wild animals and birds and conducting tests on domestic animals in farms, it added.

Such efforts appear to reflect the country's concerns that an outbreak of infectious disease in domestic animals may further strain the economy and affect public sentiment as the country is putting forth all-out efforts to stop the COVID-19 virus from penetrating into the country.

Concerns are lingering that North Korea could be more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus as it shares a long and porous border with China and lacks key medical supplies and the infrastructure to test and treat infected people.

People in protective clothing sterilize an unidentified facility in North Korea to keep the new coronavirus from spreading, in this photo released by the Korea Central News Agency on Feb. 15, 2020. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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