North Korea reports nearly 2.2 lakh COVID cases in single day

Seoul: North Korea on Saturday announced it has confirmed around 220,000 new cases of fever and another death, nine days after publicly admitting a Covid-19 outbreak.

Leader Kim Jong-un also had a ruling Workers’ Party politburo meeting to discuss strategies in the “anti-epidemic war”, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

He stressed the need to “optimise” the virus prevention policy and take “all possible steps for revitalizing the overall economy” at the same time, Yonhap News Agency quoted the KCNA as saying.

More than 219,030 people showed symptoms of fever and one death was reported over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the KCNA said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.

It raised the death toll to 66, while 281,350 have recovered.

The total number of fever cases since late April in the nation, with a population of approximately 25 million, came to more than 2.46 million as of 6 p.m. Friday, of which more than 1.76 million have recovered and roughly 692,480 are being treated, it added.

During the “consultative” session of the politburo at the party’s Central Committee building in Pyongyang on Saturday, meanwhile, Kim and other attendees talked about “effectively engineering and executing” antivirus measures, an indication of Pyongyang’s possible move to ease some of the stringent nationwide virus curbs, the KCNA said.

Among other issues raised were “setting up district treatment centres for operating and commanding medical service” and deploying medical forces nationwide “in a balanced way”, as well as establishing local medicine supply centres and bases for efficient and speedy distribution, it added.

On May 12, the North announced its first confirmed Covid case of the Omicron variant.


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