North Korea is said to have decided to withdraw from the upcoming Tokyo Olympics due to concerns about coronavirus infection among its athletes. According to a report published Tuesday on DPRK Sports, a state media outlet focused on sports affairs, North Korean officials announced Tuesday that the country would not participate in this summer’s Games in order to “protect players from the world public health crisis caused by Covid-19.” According to DPRK Sports, the Olympic Committee of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) made the decision after a video conference meeting with committee members and sports officials on March 25 in Pyongyang. This year’s Games will take place from July 23 to August 8. The Paralympics will take place from August 24 to September 5.

To prevent a coronavirus outbreak, North Korea decided to cut almost all ties with the rest of the world by 2020. Experts disagree with Pyongyang’s claim that the country hasn’t seen a single case of Covid-19, but the country hasn’t reported a major outbreak, and there are no indications that one has occurred. A large number of foreign diplomats and humanitarian workers have also left the country in recent months, citing food shortages and severe restrictions on daily life, according to the Russian Embassy in Pyotrk.