Kim warns of 'serious consequences' if coronavirus spreads to North Korea

PYONGYANG: The supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, has called for greater efforts to protect himself, saying there will be serious consequences if the epidemic outbreak spreads to the country.

North Korea has not reported a single case of COVID-19, which has killed more than 2,900 people and infected more than 86,000 people in dozens of countries since it emerged in neighboring China, Al Jazeera reported.

During a meeting of the ruling Workers Party of Korea, Kim called on the country's anti-epidemic headquarters to strengthen detection and close all the channels and spaces through which infectious disease can find its way, the Official Agency of Korea Central News (KCNA) reported on Saturday.

In case the infectious disease that spreads out of control comes to our country, it will have serious consequences, Kim said quoting KCNA.

Pyongyang has been pushing a tough antivirus campaign that it described as a matter of national existence.

The country closed almost all cross-border traffic, banned tourists, intensified detection at entry points and mobilized tens of thousands of health workers to control residents and isolate those with symptoms. It has also put hundreds of foreigners in quarantine to avoid an outbreak.

Experts say an epidemic in North Korea could be serious due to chronic lack of medical supplies and poor health infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the German Embassy, ​​the French Cooperation Office and the Swiss Development Cooperation cooperate closely with each other to evacuate all foreign diplomats in quarantine from North Korea.

The exact number of foreign diplomats stationed within North Korea is unknown, but it is estimated that there are only a few hundred.

The country previously announced that all foreigners would be quarantined for 30 days, after quickly closing their borders at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak.