North Korea has ordered a five-day lockdown in the capital over respiratory illness.
The government order comes a day after NK News, citing sources in Pyongyang, reported that people in the city appeared to be stocking up on goods in anticipation of a lockdown.
In what appears to be the first citywide restrictions since the country declared victory over Covid-19 in August 2022.
Residents of Pyongyang have been ordered to stay in their homes from Wednesday to Sunday and must submit to multiple temperature checks each day, Seoul-based specialist site NK News reported, citing a government notice.
The notice did not mention Covid but said that the illnesses currently spreading in the capital included the common cold, the report said.
A researcher at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies, Go Myong-hyun, “Covid is disappearing and reappearing depending on the temperature, not just in North Korea but around the world,”
The Korean peninsula is currently in the grip of what weather forecasters have described as a Siberian cold snap, with temperatures in Pyongyang dropping as low as -22 degrees Celsius (-7.6 Fahrenheit).
It is unclear if other areas have imposed similar lockdowns and state media has not announced any new measures.
Experts suggested that North Korea’s largest city is likely dealing with the re-emergence of Covid.