North Korea eases coronavirus lockdown because even totalitarian states need trade
“Thermometers and hand sanitizers have been installed at the main gates, classrooms and offices, while teachers and helpers are thoroughly observing the hygiene rules and parents are advised to educate their children,” the Korean Central Broadcasting Committee said. The broadcaster encouraged people to use takeout services from restaurants while stressing hygiene rules across a range of industries “to prevent people from lowering their guards even just a little bit.”
Mindful of the threat the virus posed to the regime, North Korea instituted one of the world’s earliest and strictest lockdowns. The country closed its border with China in January, placed foreigners under effective house arrest and severely restricted domestic travel. Britain and Germany were forced to close their embassies in Pyongyang as a result of the restrictions and their inability to rotate staff in and out of the country.
North Korea’s government claims the country has remained free of covid-19, but most experts consider that doubtful. Independent news services have reported widespread quarantines and deaths suspected to have been caused by the virus.
[Source: Washington Post]