Due to a lack of access to efficient anti-viral medications, North Korea is battling the spreading of Covid in an unprotected population. People are being told to attempt alternative treatments like sipping herbal tea and gargling with salt water.

To try to protect itself from the epidemic, the nation locked its borders in the early 2020s.

Up until now, its leadership has disregarded outside medical assistance.

We’ve been keeping an eye on state media, which is promoting a number of conventional remedies for what is being referred to as “fever.”

Herbal teas

For those with mild to moderate illness, the state newspaper Rodong Sinmun has advised remedies like ginger, willow leaf drink, or honeysuckle tea. Some of the Covid symptoms may go away with this remedy like cough and sore throat. They will also help with hydration when a person loses fluid in excess.  However, by themselves, they are not a direct treatment for COVID. Also, this same relief can happen through the consumption of any hot drink, however willow leaf and ginger have pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Salt water gargling

The state news agency has reported that one thousand tons of salt have been sent to Pyongyang in order to manufacture an antiseptic solution. There are some studies that show that gargling, as well as nasal rinses with salted water, would combat viruses causing the common cold. But there is not much known about its effects on the coronavirus. Covid is usually caught when minuscule droplets of the infected particles travel from the air to the nose and mouth. So, gargling only covers one point of entry. Also, once the coronavirus enters the system it spreads to multiple organs, and gargling, in this case, will not help. 

Antibiotics and painkillers

State television of North Korea has advised people to use painkillers like Ibuprofen and amoxicillin, and also other antibiotics. Ibuprofen and other painkillers will bring a temperature down and also help with symptoms like sore throat and headaches. However, these medicines cannot clear the virus from the body. Actually, antibiotics are not recommended because they may go on to develop resistant viruses. 

Weakened health system

The health system of North Korea had been set up to give free medical care starting from basic services to specialized treatment at government hospitals which are usually located in cities and towns. However, the nation’s economy has contracted because of sanctions and there is the persistent problem of extreme weather lie droughts. Strict lockdown measures, as well as closure of the country’s borders, will have a damaging impact. 

The health system of the nation is very weak once you step out of Pyongyang. It has personnel, equipment, and medicine shortages. They do not reach the recommended WHO (good practice) levels and local demand is not met too. 

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