Since the outbreak’s start in early May, 4.7 million cases of “fever” have been documented across the nation.
North Korea said Friday it had discovered the source of its ongoing outbreak of COVID-19: residents who came into contact with “alien things” along its border with South Korea.
The outbreak is thought to have started when two persons, an 18-year-old soldier and a 5-year-old child, were exposed to the virus by balloons, according to North Korean official media. Although it is highly improbable that the balloons were flown from South Korea, Pyongyang claimed that they were. Experts argue that this claim is consistent with the North’s objectives to maintain the two countries’ hostile relationship.
Authorities must “vigilantly deal with foreign things coming by wind and other climate phenomena and balloons in the areas around the demarcation line and borders,” according to a directive the nation published.
South Korean activists have used balloons to transport propaganda flyers across the North Korean border. The South Korean authorities, however, reacted fast to deny any possibility that the virus may have been spread even if balloons had reached the north, according to The Associated Press.
On May 12, the nation, which had mostly succeeded in warding off the coronavirus by isolating itself from the rest of the globe, disclosed its first confirmed COVID-19 case. According to experts, the number of cases has now skyrocketed across the country, which is mainly immune to the virus.
Only a small portion of the 4.7 million fever cases recorded by North Korea so far have been confirmed to be COVID-19. Only 73 people, according to the country, have perished from the illness; however, considering North Korea’s healthcare infrastructure, such a low fatality rate would be highly improbable.
According to official media, Kim Jong Un, the country’s leader, called the coronavirus epidemic the biggest “turmoil to descend on our country since its founding.”
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Nevertheless, on Thursday, North Korea turned down US offers of humanitarian assistance. According to Yonhap, the foreign ministry of the nation claimed that any offers were only a “scheme to fulfill a vile political objective.” (The Washington Post reports that there are rumours that China provided some assistance to the nation.)
Speaking of humanitarian aid while aiming to isolate and starve us to death, the U.S. is trying to avoid condemnation from the world community, according to official media.