North Koreans are reportedly afraid to buy food before the lockdown due to a rise in respiratory infections.
North Korea has ordered a five-day lockdown in the capital Pyongyang as cases of unconfirmed reports rise, according to NK News.
Citing a government announcement, a Seoul-based outlet, which covers North Korea, said people should stay indoors until late Sunday and take their temperature several times a day.
The statement did not mention COVID-19 directly, but North Korea did not in its first outbreak last year when it referred only to a “malarial disease”.
On Tuesday, NK News reported that people in the capital appear to be “buying more food” amid rumors of closures.
North Korea acknowledged its first outbreak of COVID-19 last year, but with limited testing, it has not confirmed the number of people infected. He declared “victory” in the August outbreak.
State media have continued to report on measures to combat the epidemic of respiratory diseases, including the flu, but have not said they will be shut down.
NK News reported that in recent days, Pyongyang residents who have been photographed at events celebrating the Lunar New Year were wearing face masks, some of them are double covering or wearing elaborate masks.
On Tuesday, state news agency KCNA said the city of Kaesong, which is close to the border with South Korea, has stepped up a public relations campaign “for all workers to adhere to the epidemic prevention rules with commitment to their work and life”.
It was unclear from the NK News report whether the shutdown was implemented beyond Pyongyang.
China, North Korea’s ally and trading partner, has been grappling with a surge in cases since abandoning its zero-covid-19 policy late last year.