North Korea tells World Health Organization it’s still virus-free

North Korea has claimed that it has a perfect record for keeping out COVID-19.

That’s according to the isolated country’s latest report to the World Health Organization.

The Asian country said keeping out the virus was a “matter of national existence” at the beginning of the pandemic.

It shut its borders, banned tourists and jetted out diplomats. The country has also continued to limit cross-border traffic and quarantined tens of thousands of people.

North Korea continues to say that there have been no cases of COVID-19, a claim that is widely doubted internationally.

It has poor health infrastructure and a porous border with its economic lifeline: China, where the virus originated.

In an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday, Edwin Salvador, WHO’s representative to North Korea, said the North has reported it tested 23,121 people for the coronavirus from the beginning of the pandemic to April 1 and that all results were negative.

Salvador said the North said 732 people were tested between March 26 and April 1.

WHO officials say the North is no longer providing the health organisation with the number of people it quarantines with suspected symptoms.

The country said on Tuesday that it would not attend the Tokyo Olympics over fears of the coronavirus pandemic.

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