Pyongyang, May 13, 2022 – La North Korea runs for cover againstCovid wave that has overwhelmed her in the last few weeks. To lend a hand to Pyongyang, which yesterday announced a lockdown nationwideare unexpectedly the neighbors of the South Korea. President Yoon Suk-yeol has offered to send vaccines against Covid-19. “The president plans to provide vaccines and other medical supplies,” spokesman Kang In-sun said in a statement, assuring that “discussions will be held with the North Korean side on the details.” After two years of silence on the part of Pyongyang, now it is the virus that raises its voice. The move of Kim Jong-Un, who had himself photographed in public with the mask for the first time, suggests that the situation has definitely gotten out of hand. And not even the missile or nuclear tests, this time, can hide a reality that risks taking on catastrophic contours.
Covid in Italy: live data. The bulletin of May 13
The lockdown follows the official announcement of the first outbreak in North Korea after more than two years of pandemic. At the moment, more than 187,000 people with fever are “isolated and treated”, reveals the official KCNA news agency.
Pyongyang has never given official information on the spread of the virus. The first case was disclosed only yesterday. “Currently, up to 187,800 people are isolated and cared for,” the official news agency said, adding that they are six people with fever symptoms died, one of which tested positive for the Omicron variant. “A fever whose cause has not been identified has spread explosively across the country since the end of April,” KCNA added. The people affected by Covid since the end of last month would be 350 thousand. Of these, around 162,000 have been treated.
The two faces of North Korea show themselves with the missile tests carried out yesterday by Kim Jong Un. On the one hand, after two years of silence, the first admissions on Covid and the surrender with the lockdown. On the other hand, the showdown of the leader who, according to White House spokesperson Jen Psaki, is even thinking of a further missile test while US President Joe Biden will be visiting Asia at the end of May.
Biden is expected to visit South Korea and Japan May 20-24 and hold talks with his Korean and Japanese counterparts. It is not excluded, argues Psaki, that North Korea launches just in conjunction with the visit, or close to, a new exhibition of muscles. Biden – adds Psaki – is also considering a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone, but a final decision has not been made.
“Six deaths and tens of thousands of cases of Covid from Omicron variant in North Korea. There is a risk of a catastrophe similar to that of 2020”, warns Matteo Bassetti, director of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of the San Martino Polyclinic in Genoa, in a tweet. “Those who have not been vaccinated can already understand, as long as they want it – he adds – the damage caused by Omicron in a country without vaccines. Enjoy it”