N.Korea releases all but 3 foreigners from quarantine

Seoul, March 20 (IANS) North Korea has released all but three foreigners from a coronavirus quarantine, the country’s official news agency said on Friday.

“All foreigners except three have been released from quarantine as of March 19 after sufficient medical monitoring and examination and being confirmed with no symptoms,” Yonhap News Agency quoted Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) as saying in a report.

Earlier state media reports said that 380 foreigners were under quarantine.

The KCNA report also said that quarantined people have additionally been released across the nation, including 1,500 in South Pyongan province and 1,090 in North Pyongan.

A total of some 1,430 people have been released from quarantine in Kangwon province, it added.

If numbers in previous state media reports were combined, at least 8,360 people have been released from quarantine across North Korea so far, and the actual number of people out of could be higher than that.

North Korea has not reported any coronavirus case, but it has called for nationwide efforts to prevent the virus from breaking out on its soil through intensified border controls and a tightened quarantine process, Yonhap News Agency reported.

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

“All levels of the central and regional emergency epidemic prevention centers are stepping up efforts to prevent virus-borne infectious diseases,” the KCNA said in the report, adding the country’s central emergency quarantine office is holding a weekly video conference with regional officials.



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