According to North Korean television, “yellow dust” from China contains “toxic ingredients, a virus, and pathogenic microorganisms”.
Indeed, in its Wednesday weather report, television urged viewers to stay indoors in case the “yellow dust” arriving in the country on Thursday carried the coronavirus to North Korea. Television also announced a nationwide ban on construction work outdoors.
“Yellow dust” is light sand flying with the wind from the deserts of Mongolia and China. The wind blows it to the nearby lands at certain times of the year. However, yellow dust has become a serious health threat in recent decades because it is also mixed with toxic substances and pollutants.
However, according to current information, there is no link between seasonal dust clouds and COVID-19.
Spreads in the air
Delegations in North Korea were also warned of yellow dust. Foreigners were told to stay at home and close their windows.
According to North Korean state media reasoning, the yellow dust cloud should be taken seriously because the study found that the coronavirus is also spreading by air.
According to the CDC, the virus may remain in the air for hours. However, getting infected in this way is extremely rare, especially outdoors.
The Pyongyang government has claimed that there have been no cases of coronavirus in North Korea. Experts consider the claim very unlikely.
However, the country has been on alert since January: the country has strict movement restrictions and borders have been closed.
North Korea is not the only country to have resorted to such a dust cloud explanation. Turkmenistan in Central Asia has also justified the use of masks with dust clouds carrying the virus.
North Korea’s neighbor South Korea has rejected all sorts of hints that yellow dust would spread COVID-19 from China to North Korea.
According to the forecast, the dust cloud danger would be over on Friday.