North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un has reportedly announced measures to prevent coronavirus from spreading in the region. According to North’s state-run news agency, Kim Jong Un met his Workers' Party of Korea on February 29 and warned of serious consequences if the deadly virus finds its way into the country.
During the meeting, Kim said that his government took highly reliable, preemptive and decisive preventive measures against the novel coronavirus whose contagion route is scientifically uncertain. While North Korea has not confirmed a single case of coronavirus in the country, its geographical proximity to China and South Korea puts at high risk.
The United States has also promised to support and encourage the aid work in North Korea to “counter and contain” spread of novel coronavirus, COVID-19, in the region. Citing North’s vulnerability to the deadly virus, State Department spokesperson Morgan Orgatus had said in a statement that the US “strongly support” and “encourage” the work of national and international health organisations to combat coronavirus.
“The United States is ready and prepared to expeditiously facilitate the approval of assistance from these organizations,” said Orgatus.
The novel coronavirus has triggered a fear of pandemic after Middle Eastern and European nations reported death from the virus. According to the latest report, 47 new deaths in China due to coronavirus infections have been confirmed, taking the total death toll because of the deadly virus to over 2,800.
Iran has reported the most number of deaths due to coronavirus after China and Gulf nations including Bahrain and Kuwait also confirmed cases linked to Iran. In a bid to contain the virus, Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended the entry of citizens from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to the cities of Mecca and Medina.
“The decision excludes the GCC’s citizens who have been in the Kingdom for 14 consecutive days and did not show signs of coronavirus infection,” said Saudi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.
(With agency inputs)