The planes traveled to Taoxian International Airport in Shenyang, in China’s northeast Liaoning province, the official said.
Since May 12, North Korea has reported nearly two million “fever” cases, with state media calling it a “major national emergency” and authorities scrambling to respond.
After the first cases were announced, China said it was ready to provide full support as North Korea’s “comrades, neighbors and friends.” The two countries have “a fine tradition of mutual assistance,” said a spokesperson from China’s Foreign Ministry.
North Korea has not yet established a Covid-19 vaccination program, leaving its population vulnerable, according to the World Health Organization. The country’s dilapidated health care system also lacks the medicine and supplies necessary for combating a Covid-19 outbreak.
The situation has sparked alarm among international bodies, with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warning on Tuesday that the outbreak — and the restrictions in place — could have “a devastating impact on the human rights situation in the country.”
Human Rights Watch has also expressed concern, urging the UN and governments around the world to “make every possible effort to persuade North Korea to allow outside humanitarian assistance.”
The South Korean government says it has offered assistance to North Korea, including medicine, vaccines and other medical supplies, but has not yet received a response.