SEOUL, May 30 (BNA) – North Korea lifted restrictions on movement in the capital, Pyongyang, after its first acceptance of the COVID-19 outbreak weeks ago, media reported, as the isolated country said the virus situation is now under control.
The North has been fighting a fierce battle against an unprecedented wave of Covid since declaring a state of emergency and imposing a nationwide lockdown this month, raising concerns about shortages of vaccines, medical supplies and food shortages, Reuters reported.
Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, citing an unnamed source in Beijing, said the restrictions were lifted as of Sunday.
A spokesman for South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which deals with inter-Korean affairs, said it could not confirm the news, as North Korea’s state media did not announce the decision.
The Kyodo report came shortly after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un chaired a politburo meeting to discuss a review of the restrictions imposed to combat the epidemic, and an assessment of the situation over the country’s first coronavirus outbreak was “improving.”
“The Politburo has studied the issue of effective and rapid coordination and implementation of anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines in light of the current stable epidemic control situation,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Sunday.
And the Korean Central News Agency said that North Korea had reported symptoms of fever on 100,710 people, and another death as of Sunday evening, compared to about 390,000 two weeks ago. The death toll has risen to 70.
North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus, and appears to be short on testing supplies. Experts said the announced numbers may not be adequately reported, and that it is difficult to assess the actual scale of the situation.