North Korea Has Received No COVID Vaccines, Has Reported No Infections or Deaths from Virus Since Pandemic Began

World Health Organization reports “0” confirmed COVID cases, “0” deaths in North Korea.

QUICK FACTS:
  • North Korea remains one of two countries—the other being Eritrea—that have not administered any coronavirus vaccines to its people.
  • The country has also reported no COVID-19 cases and no deaths as of April 25, 2022, according to the World Health Organization.
  • North Korea has closed its borders except to a minimal level of trade with China, a move that United Nations’ spokespersons contributed to preventing any outbreak in the country.
  • Tomás Ojea Quintana, United Nations Special Rapporteur on North Korean human rights, said in a recent report that the country’s “covid restrictions, including border closures, appear to have prevented an outbreak inside the country,” though he believes the nation’s actions could come with “considerable cost to the wider health situation” in the future.
NORTH KOREA STILL IN LOCKDOWN:
  • Two years since North Korea’s declaration of a “national emergency response” to COVID, the lockdown shows no signs of letting up, with state media this week urging the public to “strengthen the anti-epidemic work in preparation for the prolonged emergency,” The Washington Post reports.
  • An article published in the state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun warned against “sloppiness and idleness” in anti-epidemic work.
BACKGROUND:
  • Pyongyang last year rejected nearly two million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccines and nearly three million doses of China’s Sinovac vaccines offered by the international COVAX program.
  • Nearly 250,000 doses of Novavax vaccines allotted for North Korea by COVAX were also canceled early this year.
  • In early July 2020, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un praised the government’s “zero COVID-19 policy” as a “shining success.”