The Coronavirus threat originated in Wuhan, China, and it is spreading all over the world. North Korea sealed its border with China because of possible threats. The country is worried because it shares a long boundary with China. As a precautionary measure, N. Korea has also quarantined 380 foreigners. Most of them are diplomats stationed in Pyongyang, the capital. The North took this action to check the outbreak of the disease. Already, some foreigners were in quarantine for the past 30 days and it continues.

The country has not reported any cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) so far, the BBC reports. However, the latest additions to the list are Afghanistan, Dubai, and Kuwait.

The BBC notes that in view of its long and often porous border with China, the hermit kingdom is on the alert. Since it lacks the health infrastructure and is under international sanctions, it could face problems in procuring essentials.

UN sanctions were imposed because of the nuclear programs of the North. As long as sanctions remain, the country might not be able to procure the equipment required to fight the threat and the disease could spread. Right now, all foreigners entering the country have to be in quarantine for 30 days. In order to ensure safety, the authorities have canceled the annual Pyongyang marathon. This attracts people from other countries who participate.

This year, there won't be a marathon.

South Korea, the neighbor of North Korea, reports many infections

While there are no reports of any infection from North Korea, its neighbor South Korea reports the death of seven people and infected numbers of 763. It has spread to military installations and 11 of them are affected. As a preventive measure, it has quarantined 7,700 troops. The figures reveal that South Korea has the largest number of confirmed cases outside China.

The country saw a huge spike from 41 last week to 763 this week. It seems the concentration has links to a hospital and a religious group near the city of Daegu with a population of around 2.5m. Airlines have suspended flights to that destination. This difference between the two Koreas is understandable because the North is a secretive state and very few outsiders have access to it and its people. The South is just the opposite, hence its population could face dangers from the coronavirus.

The BBC provides more updates about the virus, which originated in China.

It has now spread to at least 29 countries. In Europe, Italy has the highest number of European cases. Iran reports 43 confirmed with loss of eight lives. The Chinese city of Wuhan has been in lockdown since January 23. It is in total isolation with incoming and outgoing transport links cut off. There have been more than 2,500 deaths in mainland China, with the number of confirmed cases being 77,150.

The Red Cross arranges exemption to sanctions against North Korea

According to News 18, the Red Cross has succeeded in obtaining an exemption to sanctions imposed by the UN on North Korea. This will open the doors for humanitarian aid to flow in.

The aid will be in the form of testing kits and medical equipment for use against a possible coronavirus outbreak. In the opinion of IFRC's Asia Pacific chief Xavier Castellanos, the exemption was "a life-saving intervention and an important measure to ensure that sanctions do not bear a negative impact on the people of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea." The Red Cross has been in North Korea since 1995. Its volunteers are working with the country's public health ministry in its fight against COVID-19.

America eased sanctions on North Korea because of coronavirus

The global community imposed sanctions on North Korea because of its nuclear programs and its reluctance to abandon them.

US President Donald Trump has tried to talk Kim Jong-un into accepting denuclearization. They have met thrice and a solution has yet to emerge. The easing of sanctions to tackle coronavirus could be a breakthrough. North Korea could use this opportunity to agree for another round of talks on denuclearization.

Don't miss our page on Facebook!