WHO says North Korea accepting medical supplies

The World Health Organization said on Thursday that it has resumed shipments of medical supplies to North Korea to help with its COVID-19 response, a relaxation of closed border policies implemented by Pyongyang at the start of the pandemic. indicates.

The agency said shipments of medical supplies, along with international supplies destined for North Korea, were destined for North Korea after Pyongyang sealed the country’s borders in January 2020, when COVID-19 was declared a public health emergency of international concern. was trapped in.

North Korea’s public health ministry told the agency several months ago that the stranded supplies would be allowed to be transported through the northern Chinese port of Dalian, WHO spokesman Tariq Jasarevic said in an emailed statement.

As a result, the agency had sent some medical supplies and equipment to the North Korean port of Nampo, he said.

North Korea has not reported any COVID-19 infections, and has turned down several offers of vaccines, including those from the UN-backed Kovax facility and Russia. But North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, said in June that lapses in his country’s anti-epidemic campaign had created a “major crisis”, which threatened “serious consequences” according to state media. He did not clarify whether he was referring to an outbreak within the country.

The WHO said its shipments to North Korea included health kits, medicines and other medical supplies that would support essential health services in primary health care centers.

The agency said it was informed that these supplies remained under quarantine in Nampo.

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