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N.K. paper urges 'maximum vigilance' against COVID-19 amid global spread of Delta variant

North Korea 09:42 June 27, 2021

SEOUL, June 27 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's official newspaper on Sunday called for "maximum vigilance" against the coronavirus amid the global spread of the highly contagious Delta variant and pandemic fatigue.

"All workers and party members must bear deep in mind that the prolonged emergency system against the virus means prolonged maximum vigilance and strong discipline, and must strictly abide by the emergency measures," the Rodong Simun said.

The paper also urged officials to tighten control over antivirus measures, including strengthening disinfection and mask-wearing in public spaces, and to prevent the slightest laxity and idleness.

"Just like the victory or defeat in a battle depends largely on the commander's orders, the victory or defeat of an emergency battle against the virus depends on how officials accept and carry out the measures," it said.

The North has claimed to be coronavirus-free but has enforced tight border controls and other anti-pandemic measures since early last year to ward off an outbreak on its soil.

Last July, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened an emergency politburo meeting of the Workers' Party and adopted a "maximum emergency system" against the coronavirus.

Officials disinfect a bus in Pyongyang amid the coronavirus pandemic, in this undated photo released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on Feb. 19, 2021. North Korea has claimed to be coronavirus-free, but it has implemented relatively swift and extensive antivirus efforts since early last year, including border controls restricting the movement of people and goods between the North and China. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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