North Korea confirmed 15 more deaths from the “fever” on Sunday after leader Kim Jong Un said a COVID-19 outbreak had pushed his country into “great unrest.”
What do we know so far about the COVID explosion in North Korea?
On Sunday, a total of 42 people were reported dead, just days after the country announced the first cases of COVID-19 infections and imposed a national lock-up.
In total North Korea has reported 820,620 suspected cases to date, with 324,550 continuing to receive medical treatment.
The state news agency KCNA says the country is taking “rapid state emergency measures” to curb the spread of the virus.
“All provinces, towns and counties in the country are completely locked and the working units, production units and residential units have been closed from each other since the morning of May 12 and the strict and intensive screening of all persons is conducted, ”state- run media outlet KCNA said on Sunday.
However, there is no indication that the country, which has an unvaccinated population, is moving to accept international offers of vaccines.
Kim called for all the fight against the virus
At a meeting on Saturday, Kim urged unity between the government and the people to resolve the epidemic as soon as possible.
“The spread of malignant disease has been a major upheaval in our country since the establishment of the DPRK,” he said, referring to North Korea by its official name.
North Korea confirmed on Thursday that the more contagious variant of the omicron has been found in the capital Pyongyang.
North Korea’s announcement comes after pursuing a widely controversial claim to be free of the coronavirus for more than two years.
The country has one of the poorest health systems in the world and has no COVID-19 vaccine program, mass testing capacity or antiviral treatment drugs.
Self-imposed lock-in measures have damaged trade and raised concerns about food shortages, aid organizations said.
dvv/wd (AFP, AP, Reuters)