North Korea had told its citizens that China's seasonal yellow dust could carry the novel coronavirus and requested them to stay home.
It was reported in North Korea that the urgency to tackle the yellow dust and implement thorough guidelines had become more necessary as the coronavirus became more prevalent globally.
According to North Korea's official party newspaper Rodong Sinmun, "As the new coronavirus infections continue to spread around the world, the need to deal with the yellow dust and take thorough measures has become more critical," reported Lithgow Mercury.
However, the allegation that COVID-19 could be prevalent in North Korea from the Gobi Desert (which is 1900 km away) is seemingly unsupported.
Two meters (6 feet) is a standard social-distancing metric. However, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention, droplets carrying the virus could be airborne for hours.
According to North Korea's state-run television, KRT, on Wednesday, the yellow and fine dust could transmit contaminated substances, including pathogenic microorganisms and heavy metals that may contain viruses.
On Thursday, North Korea's Russian Embassy posted on Facebook that the nation's Foreign Ministry had ordered all staff and visitors to the country to wait out the dust storm indoors.
Kim Jong-un's government is persuading people to stay indoors and close their windows because of the approaching "dust storm" coming from China.
The furtive kingdom claimed it has not yet recorded COVID-19 cases but cautions to be vigilant regarding viruses that could be transmitted through the air.
"People must pay attention to personal hygiene after returning from outside. Also, workers should avoid outdoor construction work even at reconstruction sites," according to a newsreader, reported Money Control.
The North Korean newspaper stated citizens must refrain from outdoor activities. They must submit to prevention measures, including wearing face masks when they venture outdoors.
Health experts are dubious about North Korea reporting no confirmed COVID-19 cases.
Citizens of Turkmenistan were also reportedly being ordered to wear face masks considering the claim of dust.
The U.S. CDC has stated that COVID-19 can be prevalent through "airborne transmission" to individuals who are over six feet away. However, it indicates that the virus most commonly spreads to individuals six feet apart.
Pyongyang in North Korea has established lockdown measures and rigid border controls to alleviate a COVID-19 outbreak. According to analysts, an outbreak could be dire for the politically and economically secluded nation.
Pyongyang's streets were empty on Thursday as Kim's citizens appeared to have followed the order.
Rodong Sinmun also cautioned that the yellow dust directly affects the human respiratory system.
According to the state-run newspaper, "In light of the current situation that new coronavirus infection continues to spread around the world and data that malignant viruses can be transferred even by air, the necessity to deal with the yellow dust phenomenon consciously and to take thorough measures is becoming more prominent," reported Daily Mail.
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