Coronavirus patients in North Korea are starving and suffering from dire conditions in quarantine prisons, it is said.
Most of those exiled to the hermit state’s nine quarantine facilities are ignored and held captive – they go undiagnosed, they receive no treatment for Covid-19, and they are forced to sleep on the floor.
Some who arrived with only mild symptoms, such as a fever, eventually fell ill and died of malnutrition, a new report claims amid a surge in the number of North Koreans being quarantined.
if a patient dies, his body is cremated on the spot and his remains are sent to his family without any explanation.
Kim Jong-un’s brutal regime, which shamefully claims his country is virus-free, has reportedly banned people from uttering the words “coronavirus” and “infectious disease.”
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Inmates in the quarantine facilities complain 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.
The prisoners are given three meals a day, but it’s just salty soup and corn rice.
Patients have become starved and sicker from the lack of care, the source added.
The source said, “When you die, your cremated remains will be packed in a package and given to your family.
“There is no way to confirm whether these are the remains of the actual family member or someone else.”
According to the report, there has been a rapid increase in the number of people being quarantined at the country’s nine facilities.
It said cases are being discovered in Pyongyang, but North Korea is refusing to set up quarantine sites in the capital.
Instead, patients in Pyongyang are sent to an institution on an island.
The source told Daily NK that inmates are not diagnosed and only those with severe symptoms are treated.
The source said, “There is no basic drug.”
Doctors should not mention the words “coronavirus” or “infectious disease” because they are recognized as taboo.
In the absence of beds, a majority of patients are forced to sleep on the floor.
But those who wield some form of authority or economic power have bribed managers with cash so that they can receive better treatment and food sent by their families, the report said.
Visitors are prohibited from stopping the spread of the virus.
Patients are not allowed to send letters home.
If a doctor prescribes a drug, it must be obtained by the patient’s family and sent to the quarantine facility, if they have the money.
Thousands of people are believed to have died as a result of Covid-19 in North Korea.
In Manpo, a city on the border with China, more than 100 people have died from coronavirus-like symptoms, Daily NK reports.
When the pandemic started, there were unverified claims that Covid-19 patients had been executed.
Earlier this week, Kim ordered a tightening of emergency anti-coronavirus systems as he appeared in public for the first time in nearly a month.
The Politburo meeting came amid economic and political uncertainty surrounding the global Covid-19 pandemic that is putting additional pressure on the North’s economy, which has already been battered by international sanctions to stop the nuclear program.
The meeting discussed an unspecified “serious crime” committed by party officials at Pyongyang University of Medicine.
Other Central Committee officials and other government agencies “protected, defrauded and cherished crime” by not tightening up oversight of the university, the state news agency KCNA reported.
It did not specify whether the crime was related to the coronavirus.
North Korea had tested more than 12,000 people in early November, according to the World Health Organization, and reported no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in early November.
A total of 6,173 people, eight of whom were foreigners, were discovered as suspected cases and 174 people were quarantined in the last week of October, WHO said.