Let Us Guarantee More Reliably the Safety of the State and People by Following Up the Successes We Have Achieved in the Anti-Epidemic War
Speech at the National Meeting of Reviewing
the Emergency Anti-Epidemic Work
August 10, Juche 111 (2022)
Workers in the anti-epidemic and public health sectors across the country,
Party delegates and army officers who are dispatched to the border, frontline and coast areas,
Commanding officers of the State Emergency Epidemic Prevention Headquarters and the epidemic prevention divisions, regiments and battalions,
Those who have made contributions to the anti-epidemic work,
The anti-epidemic war, which has been so arduous, is over and today we proclaim our victory in it.
Over 100 days have passed since Covid-19 made inroads into the territory of our Republic and 91 days since we switched the national prevention work to a top-level emergency anti-epidemic system against the rapid spread of the disease nationwide.
In these days the entire Party, the whole country and all the people have overcome the serious crisis and achieved a great success in stabilizing and restoring the anti-epidemic situation with an indefatigable will and desperate efforts.
Our Party and government estimated the prevailing anti-epidemic situation and, on the basis of the detailed analysis submitted by the scientific research sector, reached the conclusion that the epidemic crisis that was prevalent in the country has completely been tided over.
To review the situation until today after the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system was put in place, the daily number of fever cases that recorded hundreds of thousands in the early days of the spread of the malignant disease decreased to less than 90 000 one month later; the number then continued to decrease, and since July 29 no suspect case has been reported.
Those who have died in this period number 74 in total, a record low, which would be called an unheard-of miracle in the world public health circles in terms of the fatality rate.
Until yesterday no case has been reported nationwide for 12 consecutive days, and seven days have passed since the report of the last recovery was made.
Thus the goal of our anti-epidemic struggle to turn our territory into a clean one free from the virus in the shortest period has been attained.
Conditions have been created to basically prevent the recurrence of the disease in the country. This is a trustworthy source of our conviction in the end of the crisis.
First, the disease was eliminated by its source with the last patients recovering their health and being confirmed to be negative at the nucleic acid test. A climate of observing the regulations of the epidemic prevention work has thoroughly been created, and the disinfection work further intensified across society. The various channels, through which the disease could be spread, were blocked.
And on the basis of a scientific and final confirmation of the channel of the inflow of the stealth omicron virus into our country, the work of checking, blockading and watching has been further intensified, and the order of collecting and burning or burying refuse immediately after they have been discovered and the work of guaranteeing the virus-free features of imports has been strengthened so as to ensure that no mutated virus from outside can make inroads into our country. This is another important source of our conviction.
All the cases reported in this period being found to be infected by the stealth omicron variant BA.2, it has been confirmed that no new variant or subform of the virus occurred or made inroads into our country.
All the facts give us a full conviction that an end was put in our country to the crisis caused by the malignant virus.
At this moment, when we are confirming with happiness that our state and people have overcome the unprecedented public health crisis and recovered their stability and peace at last, I, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea and the government of our Republic, declare that we have achieved victory in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic war of exterminating the novel coronavirus that made inroads into our territory and of defending the people’s lives and health.
That we have reliably defended the safety of the state and people from the most dangerous crisis in the global public sector, which has driven the whole world into a catastrophic situation, and eliminated in such a short period the gravest and most threatening challenge that faced us is another brilliant victory and a historic event that demonstrated to the whole world once again the great strength of our Party, state and people.
In relation to this, our Party and government will lower from today the grade of the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system, which was put in place on May 12 last, to that of an intensified and reinforced normal epidemic prevention work system.
Availing myself of this opportunity, I extend warm congratulations to all the people and service personnel across the country, who have defended themselves, the safety and peace of all others and the health and laughter of our children from the crossroads of life or death with an indomitable faith, unyielding perseverance and genuine unity and thus brought the anti-epidemic war to a victorious conclusion.
Though we are now filled with an ineffable delight and dignity, I do not know why but I am once again reminded of the indescribable stress and sense of responsibility that have weighed on me so heavily so far.
The past 91 days were never a long period in the realm of our struggle, but they were days of a continuation of choking tension and a grave war in the true sense of the words, in which I felt the each passing day as if it were one, nay, ten years.
Frankly speaking, I was tormented by various thoughts when the malignant virus made inroads into our country which had remained safe for more than two years by building a super-level emergency epidemic prevention barrier and making persevering efforts since the initial days of the pandemic.
It was because I had a people whom I must defend without fail even at the cost of my life.
They supported me both in good times and bad; they encouraged me and lifted me up when the times were hard. For me, every one of them was part of my flesh and blood, which I could, and must, never lose.
The unfolding crisis in which the number of new daily cases jumped by hundreds of thousands was a very pressing, severest national crisis which compelled us to be alert to the maximum and exert ourselves with a do-or-die determination, anticipating even the worst case scenario that the country might perish.
The foundations of our anti-epidemic work and public health sector were weak and we were inexperienced in this work. In this situation, we were faced with the heavy historic tasks of what to do to win in the war against the raging malignant virus which was directly threatening the safety of the state and the lives of tens of millions of the people, how to make the state organs lacking in the ability to respond to the war move sensitively and perform their correct functions and role in the campaign in which every minute and second counted, and what to do first and how to do it in order to reverse the tide of dire trials cropping up in the overall state affairs and the people’s living. These tasks were virtually a stern touchstone for testing our Party’s leadership ability once again.
In the face of this first-ever national crisis, however, our Party was deeply mindful of the great trust of the people and remained faithful to its inherent stance and attitude of serving them. By correctly displaying its unique resolute and powerful political leadership abilities, it intensified the state’s anti-epidemic discipline and organized and led to victory the campaign for stamping out the virus.
The firm belief of the Party and people linked by ties of blood gave birth to a great miracle.
The stark reality of today when we are declaring victory in the anti-epidemic war clearly proves that our policy was right and our struggle principles were correct.
In other words, the invaluable victory we have achieved is the victory of our Party’s anti-epidemic policy, the victory of our state’s crisis management strategy, the victory of our people’s fortitude and single-hearted unity unique to them, the great victory brought about by the superiority of our style of socialist system.
I can confirm it proudly and with dignity.
It is the consistent principle in the activities of our Party to adopt and implement its policies in the interests of the people, with their viewpoint and on their stand by always placing them first in its consideration.
With the establishment of a top-level emergency anti-epidemic system as soon as the malignant disease made inroads into our territory, our Party and government adopted appropriate and optimum policies in time to overcome the crisis, including the management of the situation of the outbreak of the infectious disease, blocking of the source of its spread and stabilizing of the people’s livelihood.
However, even a correct policy cannot expect its perfect result without a high sense of organization, voluntary unity of action and purposeful enthusiasm on the part of the entire population, which can guarantee its implementations.
Whenever I think of the victory in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic campaign, which could never be achieved easily, I am reminded first of all of the efforts of our people who absolutely supported and empathized with the anti-epidemic policy of our Party and government and implemented it with single-minded unity.
Under the emergency situation, in which a breakthrough was made in the rings of anti-epidemic barrier we had so far established in every possible way, even experiencing a big loss, and the malignant virus made inroads into our territory and spread, the most urgent thing was to immediately eliminate the source of the spread in the shortest time possible by putting the situation of the spread under stabilized control and management and quickly curing the infections.
So we could not but take strong measures of locking down every region and every unit across the country, while simultaneously pushing ahead with the work of locating, quarantining and treating the fever cases to the last one through a strict and intensive screening and examination of the entire population.
It meant hardships and difficulties many times greater than those of the past for all the families and citizens, to say nothing of the state affairs, as all visits and movements had been prohibited throughout the territory, not just in some parts or regions of the country, and the rhythm of normal work and activities had been destroyed.
However, our people displayed an excellent trait of accepting as the intention of our Party all the regulations and directives issued in relation to the emergency anti-epidemic work, observing them voluntarily and conscientiously and executing them without fail, regarding doing so as a patriotic undertaking for the country and as a natural duty and mission for the sake of their families and for themselves.
All the citizens willingly put their personal and family affairs off and displayed more clearly the formidable spirit peculiar to them, full of confidence in and optimism about victory in the war without the slightest vacillation, weakness, pessimism and fear.
In order to rescue these people from the malignant disease at the earliest possible date and without any delay, the Party and government urgently propelled on a top priority basis the work of releasing the reserve medicines of the state and supplying them to every part of the country so that necessary medicines could reach all the fever cases, and ensured that scientific treatment tactics and methods were established and applied.
As a result, from the fifth day since we had put the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system in place we reversed the nationwide spread of the disease to a containable, manageable and stable phase, and thus firmly stood a good chance of winning in the anti-epidemic war.
The Party and government also conducted in a proactive and coordinated way the work of readjusting the anti-epidemic policy and guidelines to relieve the people of their inconveniences and sufferings and reduce the negative impact on the state affairs and economic activities according to the changes in the anti-epidemic work situation.
To look back upon the days of the top-level emergency anti-epidemic work, we can say that it was of great significance in minimizing the damage by the virus and bringing earlier the great victory in the anti-epidemic war that we pushed forward in parallel the efforts for blockade and stamping out, adopted strong state measures of producing and supplying medicines, combined strictness with scientific accuracy in the anti-epidemic work and took positive measures for the provision of the people’s livelihood.
But what is more important is that the high sense of organization and voluntary unity of action peculiar to our people led to the thoroughgoing implementation and perfect fruition of the correct anti-epidemic policy and guidelines of the Party and government.
There are no other excellent people like ours in trusting their Party and government, in understanding the situation of the country, in remaining sincere to their civic duty and in overcoming difficulties with perseverance.
We have curbed in such a short period the violent spread of the virus and restored stability in the anti-epidemic work, thus making the whole country, which was not vaccinated even once, a clean, virus-free zone. This is a miracle noteworthy in the world’s healthcare history.
This is definitely a great victory of the people-oriented and scientific anti-epidemic policy of our style and of the joint efforts of all the people who unanimously responded to the policy in an endeavour to implement it.
The victory in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic campaign is inconceivable also without the advantages and might unique to our socialist system.
As our country has an ideological and volitional unity of all the people, masters of the state and society, it is possessed of an inexhaustible strength with which it can powerfully counter an outbreak of any crisis with the whole country and all the people rising up at the same time.
It is the most important political and institutional superiority unique to our society that all the sectors and units of the country absolutely uphold the decisions and directives of the state and keep in step with them in perfect order.
In addition to this, the collectivist spirit of one for all and all for one and the tenderness and human feeling of sharing sorrow and caring for one another more, the harder the times are, permeate the whole society, which enables our system to display an invincible might that others can never possess.
As we have this institutional background, immediately after the issue of the decision of the Party and government to switch over to the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system, strict measures were taken to blockade the whole country city by city and county by county and to cut off the work, production and living units from one another, and more intense anti-epidemic regulations, order and discipline were established, ensuring that we can take the strategic initiative in the following anti-epidemic war.
And all the Party organizations and government organs turned out to take care of the fever cases by supplying medicine even to the out-of-the-way posts and families and to ease the inconveniences of the people as much as possible by organizing various types of mobile service groups during the blockade; this is also unthinkable separated from our system.
This time the public health system of our country has displayed its people-oriented character and vitality to the full.
Even though the material and technological foundations of our public health sector are weak, the existing medical service system of our own style was put into effective operation, and so the formidable anti-epidemic and treatment tasks could be carried out with success.
Based on the district doctor system, emergency medical service system, telemedicine system and other people-oriented and advanced medical service systems, the identification of fever cases, screening and examination of the entire population were undertaken every day and quarantine and treatment were conducted in a correct way. This has been a great factor in achieving stability in the anti-epidemic situation and eliminating the source of infection on a nationwide scale.
It is the workers in the anti-epidemic and public health sectors who took the greatest trouble and performed feats in bringing about the victory in the anti-epidemic war.
Even though it is their natural duty, the burdens and pains felt by those who are standing in the first-line trench in the fight with the dangerous malicious infection can be said to have been most enormous.
Our anti-epidemic and public health fighters never hesitated to devote themselves in the anti-epidemic campaign for safeguarding the lives of the people entrusted to them by the Party and the state. None of them shrank back nor gave up but remained faithful to their duty to the end.
The spiritual strength with which they supported, devoted and exerted themselves in the fight with the virulent disease was warm love for human beings, spirit of boundless self-sacrifice for patients, a high sense of responsibility for the revolutionary tasks and sincerity.
During the top-level emergency anti-epidemic period, more than 71 200 public health workers and over 1 148 000 hygiene activists were mobilized across the country every day for screening and examination of families and employees and identifying and recovering of fever cases while thousands of former public health workers volunteered for this effort. All of them strived hard with the above-mentioned spirits.
In particular, the KPA medics who were seconded to the capital city on the special order of the Central Military Commission of the Party have performed outstanding feats on the front of defending the people.
Thanks to the devoted efforts of these medics, who were filled with loyal passion to live up to the Party’s trust and expectations at any cost and ardent love for the people, not only the supply work of medicines in the capital city was put on a stable footing and the epidemic situation was reversed but also the people’s absolute trust in the Party and the precious traditions of army-people unity were defended.
I feel very satisfied with the fact that the medics have creditably carried out the order of the Party Central Committee by working day and night and that the citizens of the capital city regard our army as savers of their lives and as their own kith and kin.
In the recent public health crisis, the number of deaths in the country is particularly small as compared with the number of infections. It is because our anti-epidemic and public health workers have defied death to carry out the anti-epidemic and public health policies of the Party and government with an endeavour and devotion that are beyond the limiting point.
The anti-epidemic and public health workers across the country have devoted their heart and soul without leaving their anti-epidemic posts and treatment places 24-7, despite the burdens scores of times heavier than usual.
Among our medical workers faithful to the Party and people, there are many doctors and nurses who have devoted themselves to the residents and patients under their charge before taking care of their own husbands and children who were in sickbed, and other medical workers who have given strength and courage to the patients by preparing the medicines that were in short supply and even daily necessities for them.
What is more impressive is the deeds of the anti-epidemic and public health workers, who devoted even the last energy of their life for victory in the anti-epidemic war and complete recovery of patients thinking their mission and duty first as defenders of human life though they knew they themselves were suffering from illness.
They are genuine public health workers and patriots in our era, who are not different from the frontline doctors and nurses in the days of the Fatherland Liberation War and the red public health workers in the Chollima era.
Our Party and government always remember the devotion and exploits of the combatants, who are reliably defending the anti-epidemic posts across the country, including those in the frontline, border and coast areas not only during the top-level emergency anti-epidemic period but also from the first days of the anti-epidemic war.
With the full awareness of the sense of their responsibility and duty that they are defending the safety of the state and people, delegates and guidance team members of the Party, who have been dispatched to the emergency anti-epidemic front on the special order of the Party and government, a large number of soldiers of the KPA, officers of the public security and state security organs and members of the Worker-Peasant Red Guards who have been enlisted for the duty of checking and blockading, and members of anti-epidemic posts in various parts have made great contributions to consolidating the anti-epidemic wall and establishing the social climate of observing the anti-epidemic regulations, overcoming all the difficulties under severe heat and heavy rains.
The self-sacrificing spirit displayed by workers in the public health sector and combatants in the anti-epidemic first-line posts in the recent top-level emergency anti-epidemic period will be proudly recorded in the history of our Party’s struggle and of our country.
The advantages and vitality of our style of socialist system were displayed in a concentrated manner through the communist virtues and traits which our people demonstrated more warmly and ardently in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic period.
At the grim moment when the whole country faced the threat of the virulent disease, the greatest anxiety of the Party and government was not only the health of the tens of millions of people but also the inconveniences and difficulties they had to experience inevitably owing to the intensive checking and blockading measures.
So the Party Central Committee, regarding our society’s tenderness and human feeling of helping and caring for one another in the face of hardships as a key, more powerful than any state-of-the-art medical science and technology, to a great victory in the anti-epidemic work, called on all the Party members and other people to give fuller play to our most excellent communist virtues and traits.
It is commonplace for our people to conduct beautiful deeds for they have cultivated collectivism and love for human beings as they breathe air, in the embrace of our Party and the socialist system. Yet, the moving stories born of the recent anti-epidemic campaign made us feel more keenly the warmth and preciousness of our society.
It is very regretful that I cannot mention here the so many beautiful moving stories and noble personalities one after another.
To cite some typical examples, the employees and officials of some factories worked day and night to provide medicines and foodstuffs to those suffering from the malignant epidemic, some people unsparingly spent their family property to prepare goods necessary for those in hostels, students’ dormitories, orphanages and baby homes, and still some others selflessly shared food grains, subsidiary foodstuffs and daily necessities with the needy families and neighbours.
Such benevolent supporters are everywhere–in the capital city and provinces, in factories and rural and fishermen’s villages–and include the broad sections of society, ranging from respected war veterans to ordinary working people, heads of people’s neighbourhood units, housewives and even children’s union members.
Thinking of comrades, neighbours and the collective before oneself and devoting one’s all for them despite one’s own hunger in the difficult situation like now–this world of beautiful virtues showcased the harmony and bonds of human feelings of our society, the true value of which can never be measured by money or wealth.
I derived great encouragement incomparable to anything else from our people, the most excellent people in the world, who share the same intentions and feelings with the Party Central Committee and regard it as a source of pleasure and pride to devote themselves for others, and further hardened the conviction that we can surely emerge victorious in the face of any crisis and trial as long as we have such a people.
The whole country moves as one united in one mind and one will behind the Party and government and tenderness and human feeling based on collectivism are a national trait–this is the superiority and might unique to our style of socialism, and so we could break through with ease such an unprecedented anti-epidemic crisis and win a great victory.
On behalf of the Central Committee of the Party and the government of the Republic, I highly appreciate the workers in the anti-epidemic and public health sectors across the country, who have exerted themselves and taken an active part, devoting their strength, wisdom and sincerity, in hastening victory in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic campaign to safeguard the safety of the state and people from the tremendous public health crisis, and extend warm thanks to all the service personnel, officials and workers who have gone to great pain in defence of the anti-epidemic wall and the supporters who have encouraged the anti-epidemic work both materially and spiritually.
This time we have achieved victory not only on the emergency anti-epidemic front but also on the economic front and in overall state affairs.
The malignant epidemic situation was created after several years of the epidemic prevention work, making matters worse; this was a huge obstacle and a disaster that might cause an extreme confusion in the state and social life and economic construction, but we tenaciously overcame this and ensured without a hitch the expected speed of development while maintaining the normal state of affairs–this alone constitutes a great victory.
When declaring the upgrade of the national epidemic prevention work to the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system, our Party decided to push forward with both the emergency anti-epidemic campaign and the tasks planned to be done this year without interruption with a belief in the indomitable spiritual strength and creativity of our people; this decision has been carried out.
The most important farming processes in agricultural production, which was designated as a pressing task for the economic work for this year, were satisfactorily carried out in time.
As the recent top-level emergency anti-epidemic war started in spring, a crucial period for farming in a year, it posed a direct obstacle for the production activities of the agricultural workers and created a situation in which nationwide labour assistance could not be arranged as planned in the rice-transplanting season, which is the busiest farming period.
However, our agricultural workers, full of determination and enthusiasm to fulfil their responsibility and duty without fail in this year, the first year of implementing the new rural revolution programme, overcame the febrile disease and achieved such a remarkable success of finishing the enormous rice-transplanting task ahead of schedule entirely through their own efforts by displaying an unyielding spiritual strength which could not be imagined in the past.
This greatly encouraged all other working people across the country and became happy news for the people who were waging an arduous anti-epidemic campaign.
Although demands for anti-epidemic work became stricter and transport and supply of materials were not smooth, all the builders who are engaged in the major projects including the large-scale housing construction in the capital city and the Ryonpho Greenhouse Farm construction perseveringly pushed ahead with the project processes as planned, thus providing a firm guarantee for completing them within the set dates.
Such key industries as metallurgical, chemical, electric power, coal and machine-building industries, and rail transport and light industry have mostly carried out their daily, ten-day and monthly production plans, although they faced difficulty twice greater than before in the provision of labour and materials, and thereby prevented the stagnation of the economy as a whole and made remarkable progress towards the achievement of the goal for this year.
It is another precious success that we have ensured the smoothness of overall state affairs even in the emergency situation.
Party, administrative and economic organs, the judicial and prosecutorial sectors and the public security, state security and national defence sectors accumulated practical experience in carrying on their work in a flexible and efficient manner, while promptly establishing the work system in emergency, identifying defects, gaps and deviations and taking measures against them in keeping with the operation of the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system.
In particular, I think it is very good that officials of Party organizations, government organs and all other sectors and units realized what embodying the people-first politics and serving the people unconditionally mean in the course of unquestioningly obeying the directives of the Party and government and thoroughly implementing the people-oriented policies.
While undergoing the recent unexpected public health crisis, we made mistakes and learned lessons in our work, and these constitute a precious asset in efficiently coping with various crises we may face in the future.
The lessons we have drawn can be condensed into two in general.
One is that we should keep up a high degree of tension without permitting any slight carelessness and slackness as the anti-epidemic work drags on, and the other one is that we should scrupulously build the national crisis response capacity, anti-epidemic capacity, at any cost.
As a matter of fact, if we had observed the anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines we had already adopted, we could have well prevented and contained within the area the occurrence of fever cases on the frontline in Kumgang County, which served as the starting point of the recent anti-epidemic crisis.
But the malignant epidemic which affected two persons in the beginning penetrated even into the capital area through the gap of carelessness and slackness latent in the epidemic prevention sector, creating a grave situation of nationwide spread.
Some people thought that there could be no gap for the malignant virus to make inroads since a tight blockade network was set up on the frontline, border and coast areas by committing a large number of people and an anti-epidemic situation involving all the people was created, and such self-conceit, carelessness, seeking of consolation and relaxing of grip can be said to have created such a serious challenge and crisis as the recent ones.
Intoxication with self-complacency, idleness and indolence and a proclivity to thinking bad things would not happen mainly clouded correct judgment on the initial inroads of the epidemic.
Its nationwide spread might well have been avoided if responding capability was demonstrated instantaneously while considering any subtle abnormal signs in direct connection with the destiny of the state from a viewpoint of “if,” instead of “would not,” and if work was conducted confidently while maintaining composure and a sense of responsibility in the face of the unexpected situation.
In the recent anti-epidemic war, we have keenly realized that if we keep clinging to the formalistic and mechanical work attitude and way of work, departing from a scientific way of thinking and action, we are destined to suffer in any health crisis that may erupt in the future.
We must never forget this lesson.
As everyone witnessed in the initial period when the top-level emergency anti-epidemic system was put in place, even the easily preventable loss of life occurred and we could not promptly contain the spread of the epidemic in the country since we failed to establish and carry out the test for the malignant virus, diagnosis and scientific treatment tactics correctly in time, and even superstitious rumours went round, causing considerable confusion in the anti-epidemic work and medical treatment.
We worked mechanically by clinging to physical blockade alone, failing to get at the roots of all links of the anti-epidemic chain according to scientific principles, to estimate and predict results and to take active and flexible measures, aggravating the living of the people and stagnation of the economic work, and we were compelled to straighten out what we could prevent beforehand.
In addition, there are various other problems: the state of our public health and anti-epidemic work, or to be more specific, our public health and anti-epidemic infrastructure and technical and material preparedness have failed to develop in line with the public health and anti-epidemic policies which our Party and state have pursued consistently since the founding of our Republic, and they are not ready to promptly respond to sudden events.
As all of us experienced, we should engrave deeply in our mind how urgently and badly the essential response capability on the part of the anti-epidemic and public health sectors are needed once fever cases are reported here and there.
In the final analysis, the anti-epidemic capability is synonymous to the national security capability and the capability to defend the lives of the people.
To review the things so far, we can classify into three types the objective crises that we should always prioritize and foresee in promoting national development and stepping up socialist construction.
War, epidemic and natural disaster–these are the three major crises that we should surely cope with in a responsible manner for the existence and development of the state and the wellbeing of the people.
As far as the war deterrent is concerned, our Party and state have long directed strong primary efforts to it and are building the mobilization capability and potentials with vigilance to minimize the damage from natural disasters.
The most important problem is to build the anti-epidemic capability for coping with the global health crisis.
Therefore, the Fifth Plenary Meeting of the Eighth Party Central Committee set forth the state anti-epidemic capability building as an urgent task facing us.
As the major policy-oriented tasks concerning the state anti-epidemic capability building have already been decided and assigned, I would like to emphasize some major points.
We have declared victory in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic campaign, but it does not mean that there is no danger of epidemic spread or the state emergency anti-epidemic effort has ended.
As the mass media introduce every day, now the public health crisis in the surroundings of our country and the rest of the world have not yet passed, and it is too early to feel relieved and loosen the anti-epidemic measures.
Over a dozen subvariants, which are stronger than the stealth omicron variant, which spread in our country, in terms of transmission and immunity evasion and which have not changed greatly in severity and fatality rate, break out in succession across the world, resulting in a rapid increase in the number of infections and a continued rise in the number of deaths.
To make the matters worse, a public health emergency of international concern was declared as highly dangerous monkeypox spread to dozens of countries, and possible outbreak of various infectious diseases owing to climate change also arouses anxiety of humankind.
It shows that there is no reason whatsoever for us to be intoxicated with the desired results achieved and feel conceited or relaxed, and it highlights the necessity to steadily step up the anti-epidemic campaign to thoroughly defend the security of the country and the wellbeing of the people.
We have to maintain the anti-epidemic wall impregnably and invest high-intensity anti-epidemic effort till the global health crisis ends, while following up the achievements and victory in the recent top-level emergency anti-epidemic campaign.
First of all, due attention should be paid to maintaining the all-people anti-epidemic awareness and vigilance.
As the broad sections of the masses are masters of the campaign and victory in it is decided by their self-consciousness, it is essential to intensify anti-epidemic information work and education in every way so that the society-wide anti-epidemic atmosphere would never be weakened or dampened.
We should spare the word victory today when we have won victory for a greater victory of tomorrow, and more importantly pay attention to vigilance and practice.
When we will be congratulating ourselves soon on our victory in the top-level emergency anti-epidemic war, there is room for slackness, carelessness and inattention to raise their heads again. Therefore, all Party and working people’s organizations, administrative and economic sectors and law-enforcement organs should be awakened and direct their efforts to maintaining the public awareness of the anti-epidemic work and crisis.
However high the intensity of anti-epidemic information work and explanation may be, they would rather cause boredom and be taken as routine if stereotyped phrases are repeated.
Therefore, the information campaign and ideological campaign should be intensified actually to consolidate the anti-epidemic awareness and improve the habit of observing anti-epidemic regulations among the people on the basis of the data changing according to the worldwide anti-epidemic situation and the analysis of the actual state of our anti-epidemic effort.
At the same time, organizational, administrative and legal measures should be taken against the practices of violating the anti-epidemic guidelines and order to make our anti-epidemic work become a sure and reliable undertaking supported by the self-consciousness of the masses plus a strong legal guarantee.
Next, we should continue to concentrate on maintaining and consolidating the impregnably built anti-epidemic wall to prevent any malignant virus from infiltrating into the country again.
It is important to ensure perfection of blockade by re-examining the overall multiple blockade wall in the border, frontline and coast areas and in the seas and air, reinforcing what is needed according to the varying characters of the pandemic and newly shutting off where it is needed.
And here, too, primary attention should be directed to the provision of service and living conditions along with ideological mobilization and encouragement for those who perform the duty for blockade at check points so that our anti-epidemic first line would not only be perfect ideologically, spiritually, operationally, tactically and epidemiologically, but also maintain the highest level both in terms of responsibility and vigilance.
As I have mentioned above, it is one of our important tasks to give a spur to the building of the anti-epidemic capability of our state.
The public health emergency of international concern is serious now, but more challenging health crises are expected to occur periodically and repeatedly.
In the future, too, there is no reason at all for us to come to a conclusion that there will be no danger that such a public health nightmare would recur and to feel at ease.
It will be foolish of us to neglect or slow down the anti-epidemic capability building for the reason that we have won the recent anti-epidemic war and the current situation is very difficult, and it will bring about irrevocable consequences.
In view of the demand of the people-first principle, the political ideal of our Party, the true nature of our system which values the people most and the bitter lesson taught by the recent public health crisis, it is necessary to forcefully forge ahead the anti-epidemic capability building to raise it to the world level without fail.
This is the steadfast will of our Party and government.
We should comprehensively systematize the anti-epidemic policy and guidelines we have creatively enforced and the experiences and lessons we have gained and, on the basis of this, continue to intensify research into theoretical and practical, scientific and technical problems arising in perfectly developing our anti-epidemic work into a more advanced and people-oriented one.
We should further perfect the national anti-epidemic system and order and push ahead with the efforts for preparing adequate anti-epidemic forces and material and technical means in a foresighted and realistic manner.
Special attention should be paid to directing untiring and planned efforts into training professional anti-epidemic workers and improving their qualifications, developing and providing scientific testing and measuring equipment and establishing specialized quarantine and treatment facilities in various parts of the country.
As already pointed out, Koryo medicine and other pharmaceutical factories and medical appliances factories in various places should be renovated, their production capacities expanded and the construction of medical consumables and anti-epidemic medical supplies factories stepped up.
We should also be effective in conducting by stage the projects for modernizing the hospitals across the country and bringing pharmacies up to standard so that they can provide the people with a high level of medical service.
In this way, we can make our people lead a happy life in good health free from any disease enjoying the substantial benefits and protection of the best public health system and anti-epidemic system under the most advantageous socialist system.
In implementing the crucial policy-oriented tasks facing the anti-epidemic and public health sectors, the red anti-epidemic and public health workers of the Party, who are in direct charge of it, have a very important role to play.
Going through the recent worst health crisis and witnessing their selfless struggle, our people came to see medical workers in a fresh light and regard them as guardians of their best social system in the world and as reliable protectors of their lives.
The anti-epidemic and public health workers should cherish such trust and appreciation by the people as the most precious wealth that cannot be bartered for anything and make redoubled efforts to continue to live up to it.
They should become genuine communists who are imbued with infinite loyalty to the mission assigned by the Party, warm human love and sincere devotion to patients and put their heart and soul into thoroughly applying the advantages of our social system to anti-epidemic and healthcare practices.
We have become strong once again while tiding over the trials and, even if more challenges and difficulties stand in our way, we will become stronger while resolutely overcoming them.
No one could imagine that today’s event would come so early when the fact that the malignant virus made inroads into our territory was made public three months ago.
Thanks to the benevolent people, who placed their hope only on our Party and turned out staunchly with boundless loyalty to it and indomitable will to overcome any trials cheerfully, and to the might of their single-minded unity, we have become able to advance towards a greater victory by making the recent health crisis a chance for development and a leap forward, not regarding it as a period of despair and frustration.
I sincerely appreciate the trust and encouragement of our people who always give me infinite strength and courage, and harden the resolve to make strenuous efforts even at the risk of my life for the safety and happiness of this excellent people.
We should work hard to achieve greater successes not only on the emergency anti-epidemic front but also in all fields of socialist construction by fully demonstrating our limitless potential displayed clearly in the recent event.
If we further mobilize and promote the strength of the indomitable spiritual strength of our people who have courageously overcome the worst-ever crisis, we can successfully attain the goals of the five-year plan indicated by the Eighth Party Congress as well as the fighting goals we set forth for this year.
Let us all reliably guarantee the safety of our state and people with firm conviction in and optimism about our struggle and future and dynamically step up the great historic cause of achieving comprehensive development of our style of socialism.
To conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to extend greetings once again with a feeling of humble reverence to the most respected and beloved people.
I sincerely wish all of you good health and all the families across the country peace.
Long live our great people!