North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, orders 5-day lockdown over unknown respiratory illness

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North Korea's capital, Pyongyang, orders 5-day lockdown over unknown respiratory illness

The North Korean capital, Pyongyang, has ordered a five-day lock down due to rising cases of an unknown respiratory illness, Seoul-based NK News reported on Wednesday.

The notice did not mention Covid-19 but said residents in the city were required to stay in their homes until the end of Sunday and submit to temperature checks multiple times a day, according to NK News, which monitors North Korea.

On Tuesday, the website reported that the Pyongyang residents appeared to be stocking up on goods in anticipation of stricter measures. It was not clear if other areas of North Korea had imposed new lockdowns.

North Korea acknowledged its first outbreak of Covid 19 in 2022, but by August it had declared victory over the disease.

The secretive regime has never confirmed how many people caught Covid, apparently because it doesn't have the means to conduct widespread testing.

It reported daily numbers of patients with fever, a tally that rose to 4.77 million out of a population of about 25 million. Since July 29 it has not reported such cases.

State media had yet to report on anti-pandemic measures to battle respiratory diseases, including the flu, but had yet to report on the lockdown order.

On Tuesday, state news agency KCNA said the city of Kaesong, near the border with South Korea, had intensified public communication campaigns so that all working people observe anti-epidemic regulations voluntarily in their work and life.