October 6, 2022

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Paralyzed nation – North Korea says it has defeated pandemic – News

North Korea has lifted all corona measures. In a speech carried by the state news agency, President Kim Jong-un declared the country’s pandemic over. ART reporter Kathryn Erdman blames factors other than medical factors for the surprising news from the quarantined country.


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Journalist Catherine Erdmann He is the ARD Correspondent for East Asia. She lives in Tokyo.

SRF News: North Korea declares pandemic defeated, lifts all measures What exactly does that mean?

Kathryn Erdman: It’s mainly about isolation measures. According to reports from Pyongyang, there were mobile teams that visited people with the flu and conducted PCR or antibody tests. He was ordered to be quarantined. However, we don’t know exactly how this happened.

Kim Jong-un spoke of a ‘medical miracle’.

Travel restrictions within North Korea are also likely to be lifted. It said that North Korea has defeated the Corona virus. Kim Jong-un spoke of a “medical miracle”.

How reliable is it?

It was a victory with promise: The regime in Pyongyang had already said at the end of July that there were no new “flu” cases, and not long before that there were no more deaths. But all this is highly dubious, to say the least. According to official statistics, 20 percent of the population is infected with the “flu”, i.e. infected with the coronavirus.

There are serious doubts about the information coming from Pyongyang.

The fatality rate is said to be 0.002 percent – but that would be lower than in New Zealand or Japan, both of which have very few corona deaths. The timing of the peak of death as a result of the “flu” in North Korea is questionable: it was identified before the peak of the epidemic. So there is serious doubt on this information.

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What is behind the North Korean regime’s strategy?

North Korea has again been affected by floods, which may have destroyed a large part of the harvest. Also, North Korea has provided workers to Moscow, indicating that North Korea may come under heavy pressure. If the pandemic is now declared over, the country can be reopened, for example by sending workers to Russia. So foreign exchange will come back to the country.

It was only three months ago that a case of Covid was officially reported for the first time. What is known about the course of the epidemic in North Korea?

The Politburo met daily and came under scrutiny. The trend of epidemics varies greatly by region, with most cases occurring in border areas. Despite the lockdown, work continued across the country and one did not want to give the impression that the entire country was sick.

Most of the people died from wrong drugs.

According to a publication on the causes of death in “flu” cases, most people died from the wrong drugs – meanwhile the whole thing took on grotesque forms. Patients are advised to gargle with salt water. North Korean planes were also spotted in China. They may have received a vaccine or test kits there.

Interview conducted by Claudia Weber.