13 May 2022 18:46

Experts say there could be link between 'unknown fever' in North Korea and Covid-19

MOSCOW. May 13 (Interfax) - Cases of 'unknown fever' in North Korea could be linked to coronavirus infection, the Microbe Russian Anti-Plague Research Institute run by Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian consumer health watchdog, told reporters in a statement.

"What is pointing at the link between the cases of the unknown fever and Covid-19 is the opening of borders for trade ties with the People's Republic of China in January 2022 following a complete closure of state borders after the novel coronavirus infection pandemic was declared," Microbe's statement said.

In January 2022, North Korea opened cargo rail services between the Korean border city Sinuiju and China's Dangdon but China announced later in April that trade would be halted as the disease had begun spreading in Dangdon.

"Besides, mass events took place in North Korea on April 15 and 25, with their attendance being unrestricted in terms of masking requirements, which could contribute to spreading cases of the disease with the aspiration transmission mechanism," it said.

Media earlier reported that there was a breakout of 'unknown fever' in North Korea, and that more than 18,000 cases of Covid-19 were registered in the country. Previously, North Korea had reported no cases of Covid-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.