February 2, 2020 / 1:07 PM / 16 days ago

North Korea says it is free of new virus amid travel restrictions

FILE PHOTO: A flag is pictured outside the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva, Switzerland, November 17, 2017. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has had no cases of the new coronavirus that is spreading in neighbouring China, a health ministry official said on state media on Sunday.

North Korea has ended most flights with neighbouring China and Russia, imposed mandatory quarantines on any foreigners arriving in the country and ended international tourism programmes, among other measures.

In remarks carried by state broadcaster KRT, health ministry official Song In Bom said the lack of confirmed cases is not a reason to slacken prevention efforts.

“Just because there is no case of the new coronavirus in our country, we should not be too relieved, but have civil awareness and work together for prevention,” he said.

Reporting by Josh Smith; Editing by Andrew Heavens

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