What the two Sessions are telling the world

The meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea held on Apr 11 discussed as the first item on the agenda the matter of taking more thoroughgoing state measures to protect the life and safety of the people from the world-sweeping pandemic and, accordingly, the Central Committee of the WPK and the State Affairs Commission and Cabinet of the DPRK adopted a joint resolution.

The resolution specified the need to steadily strengthen national emergency anti-epidemic work, detailed targets for this year in boosting economic construction and defence capabilities and stabilizing the people’s livelihood and tasks and ways to be adopted by Party and government organs, working people’s organizations, military organs and all other sectors and units.

Both the enlarged meeting and the meeting of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee held this year dealt with the prevention of COVID-19 as the most important agenda item and took strong and drastic measures to this end.

The devastating epidemic found its way to 210 countries as of Apr 16, bringing the death toll to more than 145 000.

Fortunately, however, no infected case has been reported in the DPRK.

This provides clear testimony to the timeliness of its anti-epidemic measures and the proper maintenance of them at a due level.

The DPRK was the first to declare a national hygienic and anti-epidemic system and take emergency steps in the world after COVID-19 broke out in China in December last year.

An immediate and strict emergency anti-epidemic system was set up from the central down to the lowest local levels, and thorough inspections were made and strict quarantine was enforced at all points of passage including borders, harbours and airports under the unified command of the central emergency anti-epidemic headquarters. Foreigners, returnees from overseas trips, contacts and other local people were put under strict medical observation and check-ups.

Careful preparations were made to detect and quarantine those who would be suspected of contracting the epidemic, while efforts were made to secure reagents for examination and diagnosis and disinfectants as well and a hygienic information campaign was conducted on a large scale.

The anti-epidemic measures were ratcheted up a level higher on Feb 29 and no exception was allowed under the national emergency anti-epidemic system.

All the people turned out as one in the fight against COVID-19.

Everyone regarded it obligatory to wear a mask, took temperature three times a day and disinfected hands, public places and dwelling houses.

Vacation was declared for all students and the mothers with infants who had no one to turn to for childcare were given temporary leave.

Hygienic and anti-epidemic institutions at all levels examined water quality in rivers and lakes as well as in residential areas, institutions and enterprises and stepped up inspection of wild animals and birds, and the work to maintain sanitary environment throughout society in spring was conducted scrupulously in close combination with anti-epidemic work.

The household doctor system whereby all families are under the care of doctors in charge proved very effective.

The household doctors made the rounds in the areas under their charge on a regular basis to disseminate hygienic information about the danger of COVID-19, the route of its spread, its clinical symptoms, preventive and curative measures and antisepsis and made sure that everyone took their temperature more than three times a day.

A series of state measures were taken to look after people including those in quarantine.

Officials of Party and government organs and working people’s organizations at all levels took immediate steps to solve problems arising in people’s living by prioritizing the work to ensure that isolated patients, residents and employees suffered no inconvenience in life.

The fine trait of helping one another forward was displayed innumerably to constitute a social feature.

All the foreign visitors in the country have been released from lockdown and normal activities have been allowed for those who have gone through 30 days of medical observation.

By Kim Rye Yong PT