The North Korean military will take over the shipment of drugs to pharmacies after its leader, Kim Kong-un, discovered empty store windows during a recent visit. It is as helpless a measure as it is inadequate, it’s just a band-aid against a heavy bleed. This coronavirus Two years later, it infiltrated North Korea’s armor and threatened an unprecedented crisis, depriving the country of its most basic defenses against a devastating epidemic. medical systems much more solid.
Official figures speak 1.2 million North Korean “hot”, a diagnosis that responds not to accounting make-up but to the absence of testing in the country. If we look at its population of 25 million, assuming one in 20 people is infected, which is already a huge proportion for a disease that was discovered only four days ago. It was Thursday and according to the official press they have long since died. 50 people. North Korea is already warning of the impending “ordeal” and citing the worst crisis since its founding seventy years ago. It’s no trivial title for a country that collected these and gave millions of lives in the famines of the ’90s.
The reprimands that Kim Jong-un is handing out these days predict difficult times and perhaps a few more for those responsible. criticized the industry public health care due to his reckless behavior insufficient effort and improper execution of protocols. During his visit to the pharmacies, he not only confirmed the shortage, but also lack of protective equipment number of workers and improved hygiene. He has yet to hear of any self-criticism for his underinvestment in one of the most precarious hospital networks in the world, or for his patients. stubborn rejection of vaccines offered by the world.
bolt in cities
The orders stipulate that entire cities be bolted and sent. quarantine centers Those with fever and other suspicious symptoms. A doctor who fled the country explained that the strategy had already failed with the measles epidemic in 2006: there were no quarantine centers and where patients were, he fled due to a lack of food.
Experts fear the havoc of the coronavirus in a country without vaccines. North Korea has rejected those from China and those from the World Health Organization-sponsored Covax program. Recently, new offers have come from Seoul as well. new president, Yoon Suk-yeol He promised unconditional aid to his neighbor to the north even as rumors of an imminent nuclear test raged. The activist group, led by Park Sang-hak, a famous refugee, has announced that it will send medicine and masks instead of the usual leaflets against the regime these days. Kim Jong Un in their balloons released at the border.
An honest calculation of the weaknesses had so far protected North Korea from the epidemic. When the first news came, he realized that he did not have a weapon and closed the country. Strange pneumonia in Wuhan. No country has reached this point. He ordered his troops to shoot down anything moving on the Chinese borders, a common smuggler crossing, and refused any shipments from abroad. In Dandong, the nearest Chinese city, shipments of perishable food and medical supplies gathered dust. It also abandoned trade with China, which accounts for 99% of its imports, and punished its population with a severe food crisis. With his decision, he solved a Shakespearean drama: to expose his people to famine or plague. The decision was not unreasonable because the country was already accustomed to governing the first, and the second will destroy their sanitary defenses. But now, with the virus already in the country, nothing prevents North Korea from definitively accepting foreign aid.