North Korea’s Ministry of Health orders “compulsory accommodation in quarantine facilities” as tuberculosis patients and deaths continue to rise

On the 16th, the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers’ Party of North Korea, published a six-page article titled ‘So that there is no empty space’ and said, “The People’s Hospital in South Hamgyong Province continues to put great effort into ensuring the perfection of the emergency quarantine project.” /Photo = Rodong Sinmun News 1

As the death toll from tuberculosis is known to be increasing in North Korea, it has been confirmed that the authorities have ordered full quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

According to Daily NK Pyongyang sources on the 16th, the Ministry of Health of the North Korean cabinet issued an order on the 13th to each regional medical institution and People’s Committee to collectively diagnose and test those with tuberculosis symptoms and, if found to be tuberculosis, put them in quarantine facilities.

According to the source, the directive included that children were also included in the screening, and that even if the target did not want to, they were forced to isolate.

In particular, it is reported that North Korea ordered the forced isolation of tuberculosis patients and instructed them to build temporary buildings and install quarantine facilities if there were not enough rooms.

In recent years, as the number of tuberculosis patients and deaths from tuberculosis has increased rapidly in North Korea, it is believed that the authorities have taken special measures to prevent further spread.

Another source from South Pyongan Province said, “The number of people who died from tuberculosis has increased recently.

The World Health Organization (WHO) designated North Korea as a high-risk group for both tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis through the ‘World Tuberculosis Report 2021’ published last month.

According to the report, there were 135,000 tuberculosis cases in North Korea as of last year, an increase of 3,000 from the previous year. Considering that there may be information or data that North Korea has not made public, it is estimated that the actual number of tuberculosis patients in North Korea is higher than this.

The report also revealed that 66% of North Korean tuberculosis patients receive treatment, and the infection fatality rate of tuberculosis patients is 16%.

The recent notable increase in tuberculosis patients as well as deaths from tuberculosis in North Korea is analyzed to be directly related to the nutritional deficiencies of the residents due to food shortages.

Choi Jeong-hoon, a researcher at Korea University’s Public Policy Research Institute, said, “The increase in tuberculosis is directly related to malnutrition and drug shortages.” ” he pointed out.

It is said that the nutritional status of the residents has deteriorated, and there is a possibility that tuberculosis may spread rapidly in a short time as medical treatment could not be provided at the beginning due to a lack of tuberculosis medicine, and even patients who were taking medicine stopped taking tuberculosis medicine before they were cured. .

Since tuberculosis is a disease that can be cured if adequate nutrition and treatment are provided, proper management and treatment are expected to have a decisive effect on the mortality rate of tuberculosis patients in North Korea.

However, some are questioning whether the authorities will be able to provide nutritious meals and treatments to tuberculosis patients in quarantine.

“Everyone knows that there are not enough TB ​​drugs,” the source said.

Researcher Choi also said, “In the past, North Korea has enforced measures to isolate infected people in case of an epidemic, but it was not implemented to provide a cure or treatment. It will be difficult to provide them with food and medicine,” he observed.

Source: DailyNK by

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