North Korea on Wednesday advised its people against going to crowded areas, saying the coronavirus can be transmitted even through eye infections.
Introducing a medical study conducted abroad, the Rodong Sinmun, the daily of the North's ruling Worker's Party, highlighted social distancing measures as the COVID-19 virus was found to be more contagious than previously known.
"There is a risk of transmission of the coronavirus through the eyes ... the respiratory system is not the only route through which the new coronavirus can spread," the paper said. It advised medical staff to wear protective goggles while treating patients.
The newspaper also stressed the need to avoid standing in long lines at shops or going to crowded places as part of social distancing efforts to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Uriminzokkiri, a propaganda outlet, also reported that all borders, including land, sea and air routes, have been sealed off preemptively and strict measures have been implemented to prevent the virus.
"The emergency epidemic prevention measures carried out by our party and the government are highly trustworthy preemptive and decisive measures that ensure the survival and safety of our people."
The North's official Korean Central News Agency also carried a report on the country's efforts to provide special care to pregnant women self-quarantined in the provinces, including delivery of nutritious food.
The report came as North Korea has closed all ports of entry for nearly two months, though it has repeatedly claimed it has no confirmed cases of COVID-19.
Concerns are lingering, however, that North Korea could be vulnerable as it shares a long and porous border with China, where the virus originated, and lacks key medical supplies and infrastructure to test and treat infected people. (Yonhap)