North Korea in ‘great turmoil’ with 21 more Covid-19 deaths and 174,400 new cases of fever
SEOUL — North Korea reported 21 new deaths and 174,400 more cases of fever, as leader Kim Jong Un warned the country faced “great turmoil” due to the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released the figures on Saturday, May 14, after Kim chaired a politburo meeting to review the regime’s ‘maximum emergency’ anti-virus system. and discuss how to quickly distribute medical supplies.
“The spread of the malignant epidemic is a great turmoil that has befallen our country since the foundation,” he said.
Mr. Kim ordered major cities to be locked down and told officials to learn from effective virus-control measures in other countries, particularly China.
He also urged people to believe they can overcome the outbreak soon, as transmissions are contained in some communities that have already been isolated and are not spreading across regions.
The situation is not out of control, he added.
North Korea announced its first case of Covid-19 on Thursday, May 12, as the two-year-old pandemic enters the endemic phase in South Korea.
Seoul added 29,581 new cases on Saturday, bringing the total to 17,756,627.
In North Korea, a total of 524,440 people showed fever symptoms between late April and May 13, KCNA said.
He added that 280,810 people are on treatment, while the rest have fully recovered. The death toll has risen to 27.
Analysts said the actual infection figures could be higher because North Korea does not have enough diagnostic kits and is only reporting cases of fever, not other Covid-19-related symptoms.
There are fears that a major outbreak could have dire consequences, given the country’s poor healthcare system and lack of medical supplies.
Its population of 25 million is vulnerable to the coronavirus as North Korea repeatedly rejected offers of vaccines last year, insisting it was free of Covid-19 due to lockdown measures. effective.
It is one of only two countries in the world that has not embarked on mass vaccination, the other being Eritrea in Africa.