North Korea today announced 21 new deaths and 174,440 more people with symptoms of fever, as the country struggles with the spread of Covid-19.
The deaths and new cases, referring to Friday, bring the total number of deaths to 27 and of people with symptoms to 524,440, since the beginning of a fever outbreak in the country in late April.
Pyongyang said 243,630 people had recovered and 280,810 remained in quarantine, not specifying how many fever cases and how many deaths were caused by Covid-19.
The country imposed a general confinement on Thursday, after confirming the first infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic.
At a meeting held today, leader Kim Jong-un described the outbreak as a historic “huge disruption”, and called for unity between the government and the people to stabilize the situation as quickly as possible.
Experts have said a failure to control the spread of the disease could have devastating consequences for North Korea, given the fragile health system and the fact that much of North Korea’s 26 million people are not vaccinated, the news agency wrote. Associated Press (AP).
Pyongyang has rejected vaccination offers from the World Health Organization (WHO), China and Russia.
The official media pointed out, in turn, that virus samples collected on Sunday from an unspecified number of people with fever, in the country’s capital, confirmed that they were infected with the Ómicron variant.
Despite this, so far, North Korea has only confirmed one death related to Covid-19.
The country reported the first cases of coronavirus on Thursday, and on Friday, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency reported that Kim visited the epidemic prevention headquarters, where he “learned about the spread of Covid-19.” in the territory, having then indicated that six people with a “new fever” had died in the country.
North Korea, which was one of the first countries in the world to close its borders in January 2020 after the virus emerged in neighboring China, has long prided itself on its ability to keep the virus under control and, so far, has not had reported no confirmed cases of covid-19 to the WHO.
A WHO representative for North Korea said on Friday that the organization helped Pyongyang develop a vaccination plan earlier this year.
In South Korea, the new government of President Yoon Suk-yeol has offered vaccines to North Korea, specifying, however, not yet discussed this with Pyongyang.