North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has called for stronger efforts to guard against coronavirus, saying there will be “serious consequences” if the outbreak spreads to the country.
At a ruling party meeting, Kim called for the country’s anti-epidemic headquarters to strengthen screening and tests and seal off all ‘channels and space through which the infectious disease may find its way,’ Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said on Saturday.
Kim emphasized that all fields and units of the country should ‘unconditionally’ obey quarantine instructions laid-out by the anti-epidemic headquarters.
He called for the strict enforcement of preventive measures against what he described as a tricky virus that spreads rapidly.
‘In case the infectious disease spreading beyond control finds its way into our country, it will entail serious consequences,’ the agency quoted Kim as saying during the politburo meeting of the Workers’ Party.
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.
Kim’s comments on the virus comes a day after South Korea confirmed 571 new cases of Coronavirus on Friday to take their number to 2,337, the highest in the world outside China, where the disease emerged from.