COVID-19 Threat in North Korea: Citizens Told to Stay Indoors, State Media Says 'Yellow Dust' Blowing From China May Bring Virus Along

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New Delhi, October 24: North Korea, which has so far claimed to be free of coronavirus, appeared jittery as the state media warned citizens against venturing outside their homes. The locals were told that the "yellow dust" blowing from China could carry the COVID-19 virus along with it. The warning was broadcasted via the state-run KCTV news channel. In Keynote Speech on Military Parade 2020, Kim Jong-Un Reiterates Claim of 'No COVID-19 Infection' in North Korea.

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The North Korean media report, while pointing out that coronavirus can linger in the air for hours, said residents should strictly remain indoors as the yellow dust has begun to blow from China and Mongolia region.

Following the report on Thursday, the streets of Pyongyang wore a deserted look, media outlets based in South Korea reported. The foreign embassies of select-countries that operate in the North were also told to direct their staff members to remain indoors and keep the window glasses shut.

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"As the new coronavirus infections continue to spread around the world, the need to deal with the yellow dust and take thorough measures has become more critical," said North Korea's official party newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

The seasonal yellow dust blows towards North and South Korea annually, after emanating from the Gobi Desert. Located roughly 1,900 km away from Pyongyang, experts doubt whether the winds would be able to carry along with the coronavirus. In Seoul, such an assumption has been dismissed as "impossible", reported NK News.

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, droplets carrying coronavirus can linger in the air for several hours, but infections are not known to be transmitted in this manner, especially outdoors. Indoor transmission of COVID-19 via air is possible, if an infected person sneezes, talks or coughs, the US CDC and other health agencies have noted.

North Korea, however, is not alone to issue a warning amid the seasonal flow of yellow dust from China. Turkmenistan, which is also experiencing the dust blowing from Gobi Desert, has asked its citizens to strictly wear masks when outdoor.

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