In a follow-up on what is believed to be a COVID-19 outbreak in North Korea, the state-controlled, Pyongyang Times, disclosed many more details about the situation in the Hermit Kingdom today.
Making the rounds of the command rooms of the headquarters, he (Kim Jong Un) examined the epidemic prevention situation in a day after the state epidemic prevention work was switched over to the top emergency epidemic prevention system to cope with the prevailing epidemic prevention crisis, and learned about the nationwide spread of COVID-19.
A fever whose cause couldn’t be identified explosively spread across the country from late April and more than 350 000 people got fever in a short span of time, of whom at least 162 200 have healed completely. On May 12 alone, some 18 000 persons caught fever nationwide and as of now up to 187 800 have been isolated and receiving medical treatment. Six persons died (one of them tested positive for o mutated virus BA.2).
The article goes on:
The General Secretary seriously noted that the simultaneous spread of fever with the capital area as the centre shows that there are vulnerable points in the epidemic prevention system we have already established.
He reiterated the importance of the work of all provinces, cities and counties across the country to take steps for isolating all working, production and residential units from each other while locking down their areas and providing their inhabitants with every convenience in curbing the spread of the malignant virus.
Noting that if we follow the spread situation to control and take measures against it in addressing the present crisis, in particular, we will always stand on the defensive in the epidemic prevention work, he said it is the top priority to block the virus spread by actively locking down areas and isolating and treating persons with fever in a responsible manner.
As he repeatedly stressed, the initiative in the epidemic prevention work is the life, he said, underlining the need to immediately and thoroughly carry out the articles of the decisions of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee for actively and firmly taking hold of the good chance of winning the epidemic prevention campaign and thus quickly contain the spread of the epidemic.
North Korea is not believed to have received any Covid vaccinations, despite being eligible for the global Covid-19 vaccine sharing program, Covax.
Assuming most of North Korea’s population is unvaccinated, an outbreak in North Korea — which has limited testing capabilities, inadequate medical infrastructure and which has isolated itself from the outside world — could quickly become deadly.
“There is no evidence to show that North Korea has access to enough vaccines to protect its population from Covid-19. Yet, it has rejected millions of doses of AstraZeneca and Sinovac vaccines offered by the WHO-led COVAX program,” said Amnesty International’s East Asia researcher Boram Jang, in a statement.