Coronavirus patients in North Korea are starving and suffering from deplorable conditions in quarantine prisons.
Most of those banished to the Hermit State’s nine quarantine facilities are being ignored and detained – they are not diagnosed, they are not given treatment for Covid-19, and they are forced to sleep on the floor.
Some who arrived with only mild symptoms, such as fever, became ill and died of malnutrition. A new report claims that the number of North Koreans quarantined has risen sharply.
When a patient dies, their body is cremated on the site and their remains are sent to their family without explanation.
Kim Jong-un’s brutal regime, which has outrageously claimed his country is virus-free, has reportedly banned people from saying the words “coronavirus” and “infectious disease”.
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Prisoners in the quarantine facilities have complained of hunger and extreme cold because there is no heating, a source said Daily NK, a Seoul-based news website operated by defectors.
There is a lack of personal hygiene because there is no hot water and prisoners cannot wash often.
Inmates are given three meals a day, but it’s only salty soup and corn rice.
Patients have starved to death and got sick from lack of care, the source added.
The source said, “When you die, your cremated remains will be put in a package and given to your family.
“There is no way of telling whether these are the remains of the actual family member or someone else.”
According to the report, the number of people being quarantined in the country’s nine facilities has increased rapidly.
Cases are said to be discovered in Pyongyang, but North Korea is refusing to set up quarantine sites in the capital.
Instead, patients are sent to a facility on an island in Pyongyang.
The source told Daily NK that prisoners will go undiagnosed and only those with severe symptoms will be treated.
The source said, “There is no such thing as basic medicine.”
Doctors cannot mention the words “coronavirus” or “infectious disease” as they are recognized as taboo.
Due to the lack of beds, the majority of patients have to sleep on the floor.
But those in some form of authority or economic power have bribed managers with cash so that their families can better treat them and provide them with food, the report said.
Visitors are prohibited from stopping the virus from spreading.
Patients are not allowed to send letters home.
When a doctor prescribes a drug, it must be procured by the patient’s families and sent to the quarantine facility when they have the funds.
It is believed that thousands of people have died as a result of Covid-19 in North Korea.
More than 100 people have died from coronavirus-like symptoms in Manpo, a city on the border with China, Daily NK reported.
When the pandemic began, there were unconfirmed claims that Covid-19 patients had been executed.
Earlier this week, Kim ordered tightening of state emergency anti-coronavirus systems as he made public appearances for the first time in nearly a month.
The Politburo meeting took place amid economic and political uncertainties related to the global Covid-19 pandemic, which is putting additional pressure on the northern economy, which has already been hit by international sanctions to end its nuclear program.
The meeting discussed an unspecified “grave crime” committed by party officials at Pyongyang Medical University.
Other officials from the Central Committee and other government agencies “protected, betrayed, and promoted the crime” by not tightening oversight of the university, state news agency KCNA reported.
It was not stated whether the crime was related to the coronavirus.
According to the World Health Organization, North Korea had tested over 12,000 people in early November and reported no confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
In the last week of October, according to the WHO, a total of 6,173 people, eight of whom were foreigners, were identified as suspected cases and 174 people were quarantined.