Published on : Tuesday, March 3, 2015
This already isolated country virtually closed all its borders for all non-essential visas.
This rule was applicable for all diplomats, NGO workers and even senior North Korean officials returning from overseas trips.
Tourism is indeed a crucial source of the hard currency for North Korea but it seemed to be willing on taking this financial hit to avert any chance of Ebola outbreak, which probably its weak health infrastructure would totally be incapable of dealing with.
According to Air Koryo, North Korea’s borders are now open for travel and the four-month long Ebola travel ban has been lifted.
However, the officials of Pyongyang mentioned that quarantines and restrictions would continue for tourists from the Ebola-affected countries in Africa and from those nations which share borders with them.
However, the lifting of the restrictions appears to come too late for one of the year’s biggest tourist events.
And as the officials have declared, the foreigners will not be able to participate in the Pyongyang marathon next month (although this decision might be revised).
Ebola, one of the deadliest pathogens known to man, is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person showing symptoms such as fever or vomiting.
Similar situation rose in 2003 when foreign tourists were suspended due to fears over the spread of SARS.
Picture courtesy : BBC