North Korea has claimed its pandemic defence systems are so effective that coronavirus has not breached its borders at all.
Authorities have insisted the secretive state doesn’t have a single case of the virus that has killed thousands around the globe.
The claim comes despite Covid-19 sweeping through South Korea, which had recorded 169 deaths and nearly 10,000 confirmed cases as of April 1, according to Reuters.
It is near impossible to verify the claim, as Pyongyang releases what scant information it shares with the world about its people via tightly-controlled state media propaganda.
The hermit state, for which being sealed off from the outside world is closer to status quo than extraordinary, shut its borders in January after the virus was first detected in neighbouring China.
Nearly every other country in the world has reported outbreaks, and the World Health Organisation this week confirmed Covid-19 has infected nearly one million globally.
But leader Kim Jong-un’s regime continues to insist the virus has not touched down there yet, saying it took preventative measures early.
Pak Myong Su, director of the anti-epidemic department of the North’s Central Emergency Anti-epidemic Headquarters, has claimed that the measures have been entirely successful.
“Not one single person has been infected with the novel coronavirus in our country so far,” Pak told Agence France-Presse.
“We have carried out pre-emptive and scientific measures such as inspections and quarantine for all personnel entering our country and thoroughly disinfecting all goods, as well as closing borders and blocking sea and air lanes.”
Reuters reported yesterday that secretive behaviour in some countries has made it hard to track the virus’ spread internationally.