N.Korea intensifies anti-virus efforts in Pyongyang

North Korea has intensified anti-virus efforts Pyongyang by installing more guard posts to restrict access to the capital city, state-media reported on Friday after leader Kim Jong-un sealed off a border town following the return of a defector from South Korea.

“Pyongyang City Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters has installed more guard posts at major entry and border points in Pyongyang including subway stations and long-haul bus stops,” Yonhap News Agency quoted the Rodong Sinmun, the official daily of the North’s ruling party, as saying in a report.

North Korea declared a state of emergency over the weekend and put the border town of Kaesong on lockdown after a “runaway” defector returned home from the South with coronavirus symptoms.

State-media earlier said the defector has been put under “strict” quarantine after several medical checkups produced an “uncertain result.”

Meanwhile, a state radio station also reported around 40 guard posts have been newly installed in Pyongyang, saying that necessary measures are being drawn up to closely monitor buses and passengers moving in and out of the capital city.

North Korea has said it is coronavirus-free, but it has taken relatively swift and drastic measures, shutting down its borders since late January and tightening quarantine measures.

Pyongyang has called its fight against the virus a “political matter” that will determine the fate of the country.