DPRK

North Korea Today No. 317 - Dec 2009

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["Good Friends" aims to help the North Korean people from a humanistic point of view and publishes "North Korea Today" describing the way the North Korean people live as accurately as possible. We at Good Friends also hope to be a bridge between the North Korean people and the world.]

Swine Flu Upgraded to "Urgent Matter No. 11"

The North Korean Security Authorities have upgraded the swine flu to 'urgent matter number 11' and are concentrating on preventive and treatment measures. In North Korea, patients who need treatment the most urgently are classified as urgent matter no. 11. For instance, casualties during the Korean War and those wounded in the 2002 West Coast Sea Battle have been treated as 'urgent matter no. 11' cases. A medical official in Pyungsung, South Pyungan Province says, "During the Korean War 'urgent matter number 11' patients were treated as the first priority. At that time, any vehicle could be stopped any time when there was a patient. Regardless of the status of passenger in the vehicle, whether it is the leading secretary of the party or anybody in high status, the person in charge of the vehicle was obligated to provide transportation for the patient. Those who violate this rule could receive administrative penalties as well as criminal charges. Classifying the swine flu as 'urgent matter no. 11' attests to the significance of the disease that needs to be taken very seriously." He added that doctors are keeping themselves busy everyday because of the increase in the number of patients, death, and the cases of relapse.

In Pyungyang, the majority of confirmed cases are in Pyungchun district, and death among middle school students are on the rise. At Sinuiju Medical School in North Pyungan Province, medical officials and medical professors have convened a series of meetings regarding the new swine flu. The purpose of the meetings was to discuss measures for treatment as the death toll from the flu increases throughout the nation. A professor who attended the meeting said the doctors are very concerned about the report that, "Currently, the death toll from the flu is increasing very rapidly and even the treated patients are having relapses. As such, it is classified as 'urgent matter no. 11' and we're conducting epidemiological investigations everyday." Doctors in the city of Sinuiju are also making rounds to every household to conduct medical checkups.