As the number of cold and flu patients continues to increase in Pyongyang, North Korea, it has been reported that North Korean authorities have again ordered residents to wear masks.
An NK Times Pyongyang source said on the 24th, “In mid-December last year, the quarantine authorities again issued an order to Pyongyang city factories and enterprises and people’s units to wear masks again,” adding, “As a result, Pyongyang residents are inconvenienced by having to wear masks again.” “I’m going through this,” he said.
The source explained, “The number of cold and flu patients is increasing one after another in Pyongyang, but it is not at a serious level. We have once again issued an order to wear masks to prevent the spread of the cold virus.”
The source went on to say, “Residents have had to experience considerable inconvenience due to the lockdown for over three years due to the coronavirus outbreak. As such, we have emphasized the importance of public health by demonstrating continuous efforts for emergency quarantine, while justifying the coronavirus lockdown.” “It appears that they are trying to strengthen crackdown on residents,” he said.
As the mask-wearing order was issued again, the price of masks was reported to have risen in the markets of Pyongyang City.
A source related to this said, “After the removal of masks in July, the price per mask fell to 1,300 won, but recently it rose to 1,600 won. It is difficult to make a living, but the hardships of living for residents are increasing as they spend their living expenses to buy masks.” “What we are told is leading to results,” he said.
The source said, “Currently (as of the 23rd), 1 kg of rice is being sold for 5,800 at a food store in Pyongyang, which is equivalent to purchasing 1 kg of rice for a family of three if one resident purchases and uses at least two masks a month.” “It’s the price,” he said, adding, “As a result, the burden on residents is bound to increase.”