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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Wednesday, 25 November 2020 7.09 AM IST

North Korea warns citizens of 'Yellow Dust' carrying COVID-19 from China

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SEOUL: North Korean authorities have urged citizens to remain indoors to avoid contact with a mysterious cloud of ‘yellow dust’ blowing in from China, which they have warned could bring Covid-19 with it.

On Wednesday, the state-controlled media warned that the vicious dust storm would land the next day, BBC reported. Citizens seemed to have complied with the order since, on Thursday, the streets of the country’s capital Pyongyang were reportedly deserted.

North Korea claims it has had no cases of the novel coronavirus, but imposed strict border closures and restrictions on movement of people as early as January.

What has North Korea said about yellow dust?

During a weather segment on Wednesday, the state-controlled Korean Central Television (KCTV) warned that a cloud of yellow dust would blow in from China and descend on the country the following day. A nationwide ban on outdoor construction work was announced, and all citizens were ordered to remain indoors with their windows tightly closed, BBC reported.

On Thursday morning, the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper urged all anti-epidemic quarantine workers to recognise the danger posed by the “malignant virus entering” the country via the yellow dust.

An article in the newspaper argued that since research from around the world has shown Covid-19 can be “transmitted through air”, the yellow dust cloud must be taken seriously. “Thoroughly preventing damages from the yellow dust… is a pressing task to keep the quarantine front impenetrable,” the article added.

Embassies were also reportedly warned about the incoming dust storm. The Russian Embassy in North Korea even shared a Facebook post urging its staff and visitors in the country to stay at home during the dust storm.

“The DPRK Ministry of Foreign Affairs has informed our Embassy and other diplomatic missions accredited here, as well as international organisations, that due to the expected approximation of the dust storm, all foreigners in the DPRK are highly recommended from the morning to the end of the day 22 October, exclude the exit to the city and stay home, tightly closing the windows,” its post read.

“According to us, these measures are due to the fact that together with the particles of ‘yellow dust’ a new type of coronavirus can be introduced into the territory of the republic,” the Embassy added.

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TAGS: YELLOW DUST, COVID 19, NORTH KOREA, CITIZENS, BBC, NOVEL CORONAVIRUS, PYONGYANG, KOREAN CENTRAL TELEVISION, RODONG SINMUN NEWSPAPER
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