North Korea said the country recorded hundreds of thousands of cases of fever and six people died, including one positive for Omicron.
“Instances of fever of unknown cause have broken out across the country since the end of April. On May 12 alone, about 18,000 people with fever were recorded across the country. Up to 187,000 people are currently under quarantine. and treatment,” North Korean news agency KCNA reported today.
The information comes a day after North Korea confirmed its first case of Covid-19 and imposed strict enforcement measures. KCNA also said that six people with fever have died, including one positive case for the Omicron variant.
About 350,000 people have had fever symptoms since the end of April, of which more than 162,000 have been treated, but KCNA did not specify how many cases were positive for nCoV.
KCNA said leader Kim Jong-un visited the state’s emergency prevention and control headquarters and “knew about the nationwide spread of Covid-19”. Kim Jong-un said that the spread of fever cases, mainly in Pyongyang, showed “there is a weakness in the epidemic prevention system that we have established”.
According to him, actively isolating and treating people with fever is a top priority, and calls for the introduction of “lightning-fast” scientific treatment methods and tactics, as well as strengthening measures to provide medical care. drug supply.
“This is the biggest challenge and supreme task facing our party to reverse the situation of the public health crisis immediately at the earliest possible time,” KCNA said.
In another report, KCNA said that health authorities are making efforts to establish testing, treatment and disinfection systems.
The first case of Covid-19 in North Korea was recorded in the capital Pyongyang. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un chaired a meeting of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, announcing the start of the blockade control system “with the utmost urgency”.
Kim Jong-un demanded tightening border control, calling on people to join hands to prevent the spread of the virus. The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea also asked ministries and departments to strictly implement the instructions from the National Emergency Response Command, including the division of operations of production units. and business to prevent the risk of infection.
North Korea called the anti-Covid-19 campaign a matter of “national life and death”, closing borders and severely restricting trade from January 2020 to protect itself against the pandemic, despite pressure on the economy. exhausted by sanctions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) late last year announced the shipment of essential medical supplies to prevent Covid-19 “for the purpose of strategic reserve” to North Korea through the port of Dalian in China. North Korea has repeatedly rejected proposals for vaccine aid from the WHO, China and Russia.
Experts say that with its entire population of 25 million unvaccinated against Covid-19 and limited medical infrastructure, North Korea will struggle to cope with a large outbreak. The outbreak could also exacerbate the country’s already difficult food situation, as the lockdown would hamper the “all-out fight” against drought and mobilizing workers.
Huyen Le (According to AFP, Reuters)