The North Korean government has established COVID-19 quarantine camps near the Chinese border and is supplying these camps with little or no medicine, food or water, according to a Korean Christian activist.
"So it's up to the families of the quarantined citizens to come to the edge of the camps and bring food to keep quarantined relatives alive along with whatever health-related aids that they can muster, whether it be purchased medicines sold in the jangmadang markets or even herbal home remedies gathered from mountainsides," said Tim Peters, who leads an organization called Helping Hands Korea. "My sources indicate many in these camps have already died, not only from the pandemic but also from starvation and related causes."
He added that his "sense is that the situation pertaining to COVID-19 inside North Korea is gravely serious."
A South Korean pastor who works with people who have fled totalitarian North Korea says reports from relatives remaining in the country include stories of sick people "being boarded up in their homes without food or other support and left to die." The country reportedly lacks working coronavirus tests.
In October, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un claimed the regime had "defended all our people from the harmful epidemic disease sweeping the whole world."