SEOUL, Jan. 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Wednesday urged the people to keep their guard up against the coronavirus pandemic as the number of global COVID-19 cases has exceeded 100 million.
"The cases of the new coronavirus have now exceeded 100 million with the death toll rising well over 2.14 million," said the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party. "We need to keep alert and ramp up emergency antivirus efforts more than ever."
The paper called on the people to carry out the ongoing antivirus work as if it were a war, saying they should not let down their guard and must stay resolute to ward off an outbreak that could occur at any moment.
It also cautioned against falling into complacency amid a prolonged fight against the pandemic and urged strict observance of antivirus rules, such as wearing masks, sanitizing hands and keeping social distancing.
North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has maintained a high level of alert and enforced tough social distancing, border controls and other restrictions on movement.
In early December, state media said Pyongyang has been placed on the highest level of alert against the coronavirus, suspending the operation of public facilities and restricting the movement of people in the capital.
(News Focus) S. Korea grapples with calls for nuclear armament
Talk of 'normalizing' GSOMIA raises hope, skepticism around Seoul-Tokyo ties
S. Korea, U.S., Japan close ranks amid growing N.K. threats
N. Korea says month-old virus crisis under control, but skepticism lingers
Yoon, Biden agree to broaden, deepen alliance amid N.K. threats, China's assertiveness