North Korea's official newspaper said Friday that preventing an outbreak of the coronavirus is more important than economic achievements, urging people to stay alert in their fight against the highly contagious virus.
North Korea's media outlets have called for beefed-up anti-virus efforts recently after leader Kim Jong-un demanded "maximum alert" against COVID-19 and warned against complacency, saying that it will lead to an "unimaginable and irretrievable crisis."
"It is our party's demand to do the best in carrying out the task in a way that preventing the flow of the global pandemic is more important than any other achievements in economic construction," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the ruling Workers' Party, said.
"It is the top priority and most honorable revolutionary business to protect and improve the lives and health of our people," it added. "The party has been taking powerful emergency preventive measures against the virus, considering the task of staving off the deadly infectious disease that is sweeping across the world a greatly important national project."
North Korea has taken relatively fast and drastic countermeasures to block the flow of the coronavirus since late January, including closing its borders and beefing up quarantine criteria, though it claims to have no confirmed infection case.
Some signs have been spotted recently indicating that the North might be easing up on border control amid worries that restrictions on goods and people could hurt its economy. State media, however, recently said that tight border controls remain in place, suggesting that the country has yet to loosen up its fight to keep the virus at bay. (Yonhap)