North Korea 'taking swift measures' against COVID outbreak as death toll continues to rise


North Korea
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un speaks at a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers' Party to inspect the country's antivirus efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic in this undated photo released by KCNA on May 14, 2022. Photo: Reuters / KCNA

Sunday, North Korea reported that 42 individuals had died as the country began its fourth day under a national lockdown to prevent the first verified COVID-19 breakout in the impoverished nation.

Thursday's admission by North Korea that it is battling an "explosive" COVID-19 outbreak has prompted fears that the virus might devastate a nation with an underfunded health system, limited testing skills, and no vaccine program.

There is no indication that Pyongyang is preparing to accept Western offers of vaccines, as reported by the state-run news agency KCNA.

Since the morning of May 12, all provinces, cities, and counties have been completely shut down. All working units, production units, and residential units have been sealed off from each other, according to a Sunday report by KCNA.

A day earlier, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un stated that the spread of COVID-19 had thrown his nation into "great turmoil" and demanded an all-out effort to combat the epidemic.

Despite the lockdowns, Kim and other senior officials attended Yang Hyong Sop's funeral on Saturday, according to KCNA. Yang was the de facto head of state during the reign of Kim's father, Kim Jong Il.

KCNA stated that health authorities put up additional epidemic prevention posts and rushed medical supplies to hospitals and clinics, while senior officials contributed reserve medications.

According to the report, a "large proportion" of the deaths were caused by those who were "careless in taking drugs due to the lack of knowledge and understanding of stealth Omicron variant virus infection disease and its correct treatment method,"

According to the source, at least 296,180 additional fever cases and 15 other deaths were reported as of Sunday.

According to experts, North Korea cannot test tens of thousands of symptomatic people. KCNA did not reveal the number of positive COVID-19 tests among the suspected cases.

KCNA reports that North Korea has recorded 820,620 suspected cases, of which 324,550 are still receiving medical care.

According to the World Health Organization, North Korea is one of only two nations that has yet to launch a COVID immunization campaign. Previously, the country has reported no verified instances of the virus.

Aid organizations have stated that the country's self-imposed restrictions have reduced trade to a trickle and prompted concerns about food shortages and other challenges.

Publish : 2022-05-15 08:20:00

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