In North Korea, it is known that social awareness of people quarantined with symptoms related to the novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is getting worse. It is analyzed that the North Korean authorities’ corona prevention policy, which creates a sense of alertness and fear, is encouraging discrimination against those with symptoms.
An insider inside Daily NK said on the 19th, “(In North Korea) if you enter quarantine because you have symptoms of Corona, such as fever and cough, you are treated as a traitor to the nation.” “People are afraid of passing in front of quarantined people’s houses.”
Moreover, since the authorities put a ‘quarantine’ sign in front of the home of the self-quarantine and control access, it is easy to get social stigma on the quarantined person as well as his or her family.
It is known that people who have been detained in national quarantine facilities rather than simple self-quarantine and who have been released from the facility are limited in their economic activities, such as being bullied at work even after the quarantine is lifted.
Recently, there has also been an incident where people who were discharged from quarantine facilities suffered from starvation and died of starvation one after another.
For this reason, there is a saying among the residents, “If you enter the quarantine, it will be difficult to get out, but even if you come out alive, you will die of disease or starve.”
Under these circumstances, the North Korean authorities are also emphasizing the need for support for self-isolation and those who have been released from quarantine. On the 24th of last month, the authorities referred to the ‘expression of collectivism spirit’ in a guide delivered to the cadres’ study group of the provincial, city, and county people’s committees, and ordered that ‘the people’s inconveniences should be addressed as if it were my own business’. (▶Shortcut to related articles: ‘Prolonged emergency quarantine’ guidelines issued to the People’s Committee before the Expansion of the Politburo)
Although there was no direct mention of the quarantined person in the manual, it is known that the instructors emphasized to the executives that ‘corrosion, chemicals, and firewood should be guaranteed for the quarantined person.’
However, the source explained that the executives are shifting responsibility for quarantined persons and those released from quarantine to each Inminban, and the Inminban cannot afford to help neighbors in need.
Even if the authorities emphasize support for quarantined people, quarantined people are not receiving practical help.
The source said, “Since it’s difficult for all the people to live right now, people will throw stones at the inminban leader if they collect money or rice from the inminban to help the quarantined,” he said. .
In the midst of this, a high-ranking source in North Korea said, “The fear of Corona is what separates people.”
Guidelines from the authorities, such as ‘If you get Corona, you will die in groups’, ‘Things touched by quarantined people must be disinfected’, and ‘You should not touch anyone with symptoms’, etc. and these measures are creating stigma and discrimination against quarantined people.
In particular, the North Korean authorities have raised the quarantine standards, such as making it a political crime and even punishing them legally if they do not comply with quarantine measures.
At the 3rd plenary meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea held in mid-February, Chairman Kim Jong-un said that “prolonging emergency quarantine is the greatest awakening in the national emergency quarantine project and prolonging the spirit of strong discipline.”
Meanwhile, the North Korean authorities are still insisting that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, even as they order to strengthen quarantine measures every day.
According to the World Health Organization’s ‘Corona 19 Weekly Situation Report’, a total of 718 people in North Korea underwent a real-time RT-PCR test for COVID-19 from the 25th of last month to the 1st of this month, but all were negative.
In addition, North Korea reported to the WHO that a total of 32,512 people had been tested for COVID-19 as of the 1st of this month, but there were no confirmed cases.
Source: DailyNK by www.dailynk.com.
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