Kim warns of ‘serious consequences’ if coronavirus spreads to North Korea

A woman disinfects to prevent new coronavirus infections at a departmental store in Pyongyang

Pyongyang [North Korea], Mar 1 (ANI): North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong-un has called for stronger efforts to guard against coronavirus, saying there will be "serious consequences" if the epidemic outbreak spreads to the country.
North Korea has not reported a single case of COVID-19, which has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 84,000 people in dozens of countries since it emerged in neighbouring China, Al Jazeera reported.
During a meeting of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea, Kim called for the country's anti-epidemic headquarters to strengthen screening and to seal off all "channels and space through which the infectious disease may find its way," the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Saturday.
"In case the infectious disease spreading beyond control finds its way into our country, it will entail serious consequences," KCNA quoted Kim as saying.
Pyongyang has been pushing a tough anti-virus campaign it has described as a matter of "national existence".
The country has shut down nearly all cross-border traffic, banned tourists, intensified screening at entry points and mobilised tens of thousands of health workers to monitor residents and isolate those with symptoms. It has also placed hundreds of foreigners in quarantine to prevent an outbreak.
Experts say an epidemic in North Korea could be dire because of the country's chronic lack of medical supplies and poor healthcare infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the German Embassy, French Cooperation Office, and Swiss Development Cooperation are in close cooperation with each other to evacuate all quarantined foreign diplomats from North Korea.
The exact number of foreign diplomats stationed inside North Korea is unknown but is estimated to be just a few hundred.
The country previously announced that all foreigners would be quarantined for 30 days, after quickly closing its borders at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. (ANI)

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