The secretive state of North Korea which has a population of 25m people, have claimed they have no cases of coronavirus across the country.
Scientists say this has not been verified. North Korea borders China which has 82,240 cases and South Korea which has recorded 9,786 confirmed cases of coronavirus.
South Korean Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said, the “situation is probably not good in North Korea,” and added, the government in Pyongyang has yet to request help from the South.
General Robert Abrams, commander of US Forces Korea, said on the 13 March that they are “fairly certain” the North has cases.
He said, “Their armed forces has been on lockdown for about 30 days, and only recently have they started routine training again.
“They didn’t fly an aeroplane for 24 days.”
In March South Korean media reports that around 180 North Korean soldiers died from coronavirus.
The Financial Times reported last week that Pyongyang had secretly asked for international help to increase coronavirus testing across the capital.
The secretive state banned tourists from entering the country in January and declared a “state of emergency” and anyone who had entered the country was placed under medical supervision.
North Korea also closed all schools on 20 February to stop the spread of coronavirus, whilst 10,000 people were placed in quarantine in the last two months, according to state media.
Pyongyang said last week that Kim Jong-un had received a personal letter from President Donald Trump offering assistance in fighting the outbreak to keep up “good relations.”
Professor Raina Macintyre, head of Biosecurity at the Australian Kirby Institute has revealed their scientific research during a Four Corner’s documentary, called “Secrets behind Coronavirus Virus.”
The scientific team at the Kirby Institute work on epidemiology, vaccinology, bioterrorism prevention, mathematical modelling, genetic epidemiology, public health and also conduct clinical trials in infectious diseases.
Professor Macintyre said last month during the documentary, “We think the virus probably originated from bats, because that’s what the genetic data tells us.
“But often there’s an intermediary animal host, in this case, we think pangolins might be implicated, they are mammals.
“That intermediary animal host might have been at the market, but we don’t think it’s from eating them specifically through the gastrointestinal tract, but more from handling them, touching contaminated meat.”