Health

North Korea acknowledges six deaths and thousands of infections by COVID-19 | Coronavirus | D.W.

North Korea, a country that has not administered a single vaccine against COVID-19, reported on Thursday (05.12.2022) that six people have died from the pathogen and that thousands would be infected one day after the regime reported the detection of its first cases of coronavirus since the pandemic began.

“A fever whose cause has not been identified has spread explosively across the nation since the end of April,” the official KCNA news agency said. “Up to 187,800 people are isolated and treated,” she said, adding that six patients died, one of them after testing positive for covid.

The agency reported that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un visited the national epidemic emergency center on Thursday and said that some 350,000 cases of fever have been reported since the end of April, of which “about 162,200 have been treated with success”.

Kim added that just the day before, 18,000 new cases of these fevers were detected.

“Maximum emergency” by highly contagious variant

North Korea reported on Thursday the confirmation of the first cases of coronavirus in the country after testing a group of people in Pyongyang in which the highly contagious BA.2 omicron variant was detected and that the authorities have decreed the “emergency maximum” health.

Kim himself urged at a politburo meeting “all cities and counties in the country to completely lock down their areas.”

The situation is worrying due to how contagious the detected variant has proven to be and the fact that the country, which has been isolated from the outside since 2020, has rejected the donation of almost five million doses of vaccines by the COVAX mechanism, has not put a single puncture and does not yet have a national inoculation plan.

Added to this is the scarcity of medical resources and a testing capacity that is considered scarce (until March the regime reported having tested only 64,207 people, 0.5% of its population).

jc (efe, afp, ap)

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