The hermit state shut its borders and went into a complete shutdown as the global pandemic erupted last March. Then last April its director of the anti-epidemic department Pak Myong Su arrogantly declared that “not a single person was infected” in the country.
Today these claims were rubbished with the country understood to have suffered around 100 deaths and 13,000 “suspected” coronavirus cases in the northeastern province of North Hamgyong.
A source also claimed the virus was present in other towns and cities across the communist state.
Speaking to RFA, a source said: “According to regional statistics… the number of patients who died due to suspected coronavirus symptoms is more than 100.
“In Chongjin alone, where the provincial government agencies are located, about 5,400 people have been diagnosed as suspected coronavirus patients, and more than 10 residents died after showing symptoms.”
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Earlier this year, Kim Jong-un ordered the lockdown of entire counties and cities, and a ban on travel between provinces to try and control the virus.
But this has reportedly just made the lives of his downtrodden population harder, while failing to contain the spread of the virus.
The survey, understood to have conducted by the Ministry of Health earlier this month, said most of the suspected cases were in the cities.
And even more tragically, family members of Covid victims are being told they “simply died from acute pneumonia”, the source said.
They added: “The authorities say there are no confirmed cases, but they are restricting the movement of the residents much more strongly than before.
“This is causing the people to experience great difficulties in making a living, but they are warned of severe punishment if they violate movement restrictions while showing suspected coronavirus symptoms.”
Another source told RFA that the city of Rason, which borders Russia, had more than 6,000 confirmed cases.
They added: “There are dozens of people who have died from illness after showing coronavirus symptoms, but hospitals and public health centers only emphasise hand washing, masks, and disinfection with salt water.
“They don’t offer any special treatment or quarantine measures.”