North Korea has ended mandatory mask-wearing in almost all places along with other restrictions, the state news agency said on Saturday, days after its leader Kim Jong Un declared the “ sounding
” over the Covid.
The mask-wearing requirement has been lifted in all places except the front line areas and border towns and counties, as the whole country is (out of the epidemic)
," reported the official KCNA news agency.
Social distancing measures have also been lifted in all regions except the border territories.
The regime, however, recommends wearing a mask for people with symptoms, and asks North Koreans to "
" to any "
" - seeming to refer to the balloons sent from the South.
Despite a ban imposed in 2021, South Korean activists continue to send balloons containing leaflets and dollar bills, sparking protests from Pyongyang.
Seoul singled out
The announcement came after Pyongyang this week accused Seoul of causing the country's Covid-19 outbreak and threatened
" South Korean authorities if necessary.
The virus entered, according to Pyongyang's thesis, through propaganda material sent from the South.
Denouncing a "
crime against humanity
", Kim Yo Jong, the sister and adviser of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, threatened Seoul with "
Kim Yo Jong also revealed that the North Korean leader had himself been ill during the epidemic and had "
suffered from high fevers
Experts, including the WHO, are skeptical of Pyongyang's health statistics and its ostensible control of the outbreak.
The country's hospitals are notoriously under-equipped, with few intensive care units and no treatment or vaccine, although South Korean specialist outlet NK News reported that the country received vaccine doses from China.
North Korea has recorded nearly 4.8 million "
", as the term is used to designate the number of infections, since the end of April, with only 74 deaths according to KCNA.