Published On: Thu, Apr 23rd, 2020

North Korea news: Coronavirus patient ESCAPES before being SHOT in China | World | News

The defector is now in quarantine in a Chinese hospital where he is being treated for at least one gunshot wound as well as COVID-19. Chinese sources told the Daily NK website the man was shot as he tried to cross the Tumen River on last Monday afternoon. He was taken to a hospital in Longjing where he tested positive for coronavirus. Hospital bosses have now banned visitors.

Until this week North Korea insisted the country was free of coronavirus although the claims were widely dismissed rejected by the international community.

There were unverified claims in February North Korea had executed a COVID-19 patient by firing squad because he had broken isolation results.

A Daily NK report last month claimed almost 200 soldiers had died from coronavirus during a major outbreak.

And earlier this week health officials in Pyongyang acknowleded cases of the disease had been reported in three areas of the country which borders China where the global pandemic began last December.

North Korean government officials have reportedly been holding lectures to educate residents about the virus, claiming the country had the fewest number of COVID-19 cases in the world because it had “the most superior socialist healthcare system.

There are fears a major outbreak in North Korea would be catastrophic due to its poor healthcare system, malnutrition, economic sanctions and its woeful handling of past crises, including a famine in the 1990s that led to an estimated three million deaths.

Earlier this month, North Korean defector Kim Myong said COVID-19 could kill as many people as the four-year famine.

READ MORE:Kim Jong-Un health update: North Korea leader ‘has heart surgery’ 

Writing for the US-based Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, Mr Kim dismissed Pyongyang’s claims as propaganda and “absurd lies” and said the true number of infections and deaths “exceeds imagination”.

He said: “North Korea’s healthcare system is fragile and precarious. The people of North Korea have long been affected by chronic malnutrition, poor health and weak immunity.

“Consequently, it would be no exaggeration to state that North Korea is far more vulnerable to COVID-19 than any other country in the world.

“Perhaps it would not be unreasonable to assume that North Korea has been more affected than any other country in the world.”

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In response to the coronavirus outbreak, North Korea closed its borders and ordered all foreigners in the country to self-isolate for weeks.

There have been unverified claims of cities being locked down and test kits being in short supply.

Mr Kim has called on the international community to pressure North Korea into sharing transparent information and accepting any necessary foreign assistance to save lives.

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