January 09, 2019 13:19
South Korea will send about 200,000 doses of the influenza antiviral drug Tamiflu to North Korea.
A Unification Ministry official said on Tuesday it will deliver the drugs to the border town of Kaesong on Friday along with 50,000 rapid diagnostic test kits donated by a private company.
This is the first delivery of Tamiflu to the North since the Lee Myung-bak administration sent 400,000 doses in 2009, at the height of the bird flu scare, as well as 100,000 doses of Relenza.
Some W3.56 billion from the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund will be spent on purchase and transport (US$1=W1,126).
The donor company will spend another W1 billion on the rapid diagnostic test kits.
The two Koreas agreed at their summit in Pyongyang last September to strengthen cooperation in healthcare and medicine. In working-level talks in November and December, they also discussed cooperation to prevent flu epidemics.
U.S. officials approved the planned delivery in a working-group meeting discussing the implementation of sanctions against the renegade country in Seoul late last year.
"Some 150,000 were diagnosed with flu in the North between late 2017 and early 2018," the official said.
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