North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has called the Covid outbreak, which has now treated more than 280,000 people with symptoms, the “biggest upheaval” the country has ever seen
Image: via REUTERS)
North Korea is facing its “greatest upheaval,” Kim Jong-un said, as it battles a Covid outbreak that is currently treating over 280,000 people with symptoms.
The mysterious state reported 21 new deaths of people with fevers on Friday, the state news agency reported, as the country battles its first official Covid outbreak.
About 280,810 people have been treated and 27 people have died since fever of unknown cause was reported in the country since late April, the KCNA news agency said.
State media did not say whether the new deaths were due to Covid after saying on Friday one death was due to the Omicron variant.
The reports were made at a meeting of the ruling Labor Party early Saturday, attended by leader Kim, who said the outbreak is a major disaster that has hit the country since its inception but one that can be overcome, KCNA said.
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The National Emergency Response Command reported a meeting chaired by Kim that discussed measures to slow the spread of the virus, he reported yonhap News, based in South Korea.
Drug distribution and quarantine were discussed in detail, North Korean state media reported.
“The spread of a vicious epidemic can be described as the greatest upheaval since the country’s founding,” Kim said.
But the leader added that with strong organization and control, Covid could be overcome.
AFP via Getty Images)
And he stressed that the country can get by without external help, hinting that it would not accept the support offered by South Korea.
Kim continued, “The current situation is not runaway transmission between regions, but transmission within the containment perimeter and affected area.”
He also blamed the “incompetence and irresponsibility” of the country’s quarantine strategy for the outbreak.
However, the leader offered to do his part by donating medical supplies kept in his household for use by families facing particular difficulties, state media said.
Kim is believed to be looking to China as an example of how North Korea must move forward.
KCNA VIA KNS/AFP via Getty Image)
He said: “It is also important to study the quarantine policies and achievements of advanced countries.”
Given North Korea’s limited testing capabilities, the released numbers likely represent a small fraction of the total infections, which experts say could lead to thousands of deaths in one of just two countries without a Covid vaccination campaign.
According to Harvard Medical School’s Kee Park, who has worked on health projects in the country, North Korea has been testing about 1,400 people weekly, which is far from enough to screen the hundreds of thousands of people with symptoms.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/kim-jong-un-says-deadly-26962380 Kim Jong-un says deadly Covid outbreak is 'biggest uproar' to ever hit North Korea