The streets of the Pyongyang capital were almost empty on Thursday, according to authorities.

The state-controlled television station KCTV warned on Wednesday during the weather broadcast of a cloud of dust coming from China the next day. At the same time, a national ban on construction works was announced.

KCTV warned viewers of the “yellow cloud” that brings with it “toxic materials, viruses and pathogenic microorganisms,” a phenomenon that usually plays a role in the spring.

The yellow cloud refers to sand from the deserts of China and Mongolia carried by the wind to North and South Korea at certain times of the year. It also contains toxic pollutants, a constant source of concern in the two Koreas.

On Thursday, Rodong Sinmun, a government propaganda newspaper, reported on the weather warning: “All workers must recognize the danger of malicious virus invasion. Foreign embassies in the country were also alerted.

The Russian Embassy in Pyongyang wrote on its Facebook page that it had received an alert from the country’s Foreign Ministry regarding a dust storm and that its employees, as well as those of other diplomatic missions and international organizations in the country, had received recommendations to keep closed windows.

NK News explained that the North Korean state media linked studies on the transmission of the virus by aerosols to the danger from the dust cloud in China, or these spreads are rare in the open air.

North Korea says it has no cases of infection with the new coronavirus and has imposed strict measures to control the spread of the epidemic within its borders.