his photo, released by the North's Korean Central News Agency on Aug. 29, 2020, shows an official taking a citizen's temperature at Pyongyang Station in the capital to prevent an outbreak of the coronavirus. (KCNA-Yonhap)
North Korea's official newspaper called Tuesday for heightened alert against the coronavirus pandemic, warning that a more contagious variant of the virus is spreading in many countries around the world.
"With the vicious transmissible disease spreading at a faster pace, global public health situation is getting worse," the Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the North's ruling party, said. "More problematic is that a new vicious variant has appeared and been spreading in several countries."
"In other words, the risk of transmission has increased, which demands intensified antivirus work," the paper added. "We should not let our guard down at any moment."
On Monday, South Korean health authorities confirmed that three people, who recently arrived from Britain, have been confirmed to have contracted a variant virus. The variant is thought be 70 percent more transmissible than the old one.
North Korea has claimed to have no coronavirus infection on its soil, but it has maintained tight border controls and quarantine measures since early this year.
North Korea recently put Pyongyang on the highest level of alert against the coronavirus, suspending the operation of public facilities and restricting the movement of people in the capital. (Yonhap)