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North Korea applied to receive COVID-19 vaccines, but reports zero cases

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, North Korea has not reported a single positive case. 

But, interestingly enough, the country recently applied to receive vaccines from a humanitarian group, and has reportedly asked multiple countries how to obtain them.

North Korea applied to Gavi, an international interest group that assists poorer nations in obtaining vaccines, the Wall Street Journal reports. And, over the last several weeks, North Korea contacted numerous European embassies regarding how they can get their hands on COVID-19 vaccines.

Gavi announced in December that 86 of the 92 poorest nations have requested assistance and are qualified for the Covax Advanced Market Commitment program, which has a goal to provide 1.3 billion vaccine doses.

North Korea is particularly susceptible to the virus because of its poverty levels and frail healthcare framework, according to the WSJ. 

The country hasn’t reported a single case of the virus, but for months, health experts and foreign officials have been wary of the reports considering the virus’s severe and widespread infection capabilities. 

North Korean restrictions included closing borders, suspending travel between foreign countries and the media warned its citizens about the new virus strain, according to the Daily Caller.