TASS, July 29. The Russian embassy in North Korea has facilitated the return of 27 Russian nationals from this country, they were back in Russia on Wednesday, the diplomatic mission said via its page on Facebook.
"On July 29, 27 Russians returned home from North Korea," the message reads. The embassy underlined that the evacuation was not easy to organize considering shutdown of borders, the ban of traveling around North Korea that is still in place and the suspension of international flights, but the embassy did it "successfully and without any mishaps" with the help of Korean and Russian officials from various agencies and organizations.
The Russians, including ten children, boarded a train in Pyongyang to head to Tumangang railway station situated on the border between Russia and North Korea where they switched to Russian passenger train cars to arrive in Russia. They will later travel to Vladivostok before going to their respective places of residence. "Before the trip, Russians were repeatedly checked by doctors, tested for diseases, were placed in a long-term quarantine and have medical certificated proving their negative coronavirus test," the diplomatic mission added. Despite all of these precautionary measures, the Russians will again have to have a full checkup upon arriving in Russia, the embassy specified.
Earlier, the Russian embassy in Pyongyang informed that North Korean authorities recommended that foreign diplomats to refrain from travels around the country following a possible outbreak of coronavirus in the city of Kaesong.
On July 26, the Korean Central News Agency reported that a defector from South Korea who had illegally crossed the border between the two countries exhibited coronavirus-like symptoms. The national authorities acted swiftly to impose a stringent lockdown on Kaesong on July 24. On July 25, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un convened an urgent meeting of the Workers' Party of Korea to review the situation.
The official statistic shows that North Korea does not have a single confirmed coronavirus case. In late January, the country enacted a series of urgent measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, shutting down borders, schools and imposing a nationwide quarantine.
In late December 2019, Chinese officials notified the World Health Organization (WHO) about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan, in central China. Since then, cases of the novel coronavirus - named COVID-19 by the WHO - have been reported in every corner of the world.
On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic. According to the latest statistics, over 16,908,600 people have been infected worldwide and more than 663,000 deaths have been reported. In addition, so far, over 10,472,800 individuals have recovered from the illness across the globe.