The authorities in North Hamgyong Province are closing some of the facilities where they kept suspected cases of COVID-19 in isolation.

A Daily NK source in North Hamgyong Province said Thursday that provincial emergency quarantine authorities — working with local quarantine stations — have been classifying and transporting people held at the temporary facilities for suspected COVID infections, as well as carrying out full-scale disinfection work.

According to the source, the provincial quarantine authorities and quarantine stations mobilized emergency vehicles and dozens of personnel to carry out seven hours of work at four places, including an inn located in downtown Myonggan County, where suspected COVID-19 cases were being temporarily isolated.

The source explained that as the four places were just temporary facilities rather than specialized quarantine facilities, the province has reduced their number to just two.

In fact, the authorities have discharged some of the people who were in isolation at the four temporary facilities, while gathering together in one place the others who still display symptoms.

travel documents covid
This photo of public health officials in Pyongyang disinfecting a public bus was published in a North Korean newspaper after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. / Image: Rodong Sinmun

The source said the reduction in the number of facilities is evidence of increasingly fewer suspected or apparent cases of COVID-19. However, he said more patients at the temporary facilities died than were discharged, also leading to falling numbers, and that the victims likely died alone, unable to meet their loved ones.

The source noted that while the authorities aim to concentrate all remaining patients in one spot as the number of suspected cases fall, as well as to disinfect the former facilities, they also aim to repair and expand the Myonggan County’s inn to mark the new year.

The party committee of North Hamgyong Province reportedly included the repair and expansion of the inn — as well as other local construction plans — in its 2022 construction goals to be reported to the Central Committee.

The provincial party ordered that as soon as the passengers were sorted and transported, checks for fever and other health problems be administered to officials and other personnel mobilized for the effort, and reports filed to ensure the proper execution of disinfection work.

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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to