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More than million COVID-19 cases feared in North Korea

Fifty people have died of suspected Covid-19 in North Korea’s first and acknowledged outbreak of the virus.

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has lambasted the health officials and ordered the army to help distribute medicine, as a wave of Covid cases sweeps through the country.

Reportedly, fifty people have died of suspected Covid-19 in North Korea’s first and acknowledged outbreak of the virus.

Meanwhile, more than half a million people are in quarantine and 1.2 million have fallen ill with a fever that has rapidly spread among the largely unvaccinated population since April.

A lockdown was ordered on Thursday and public health officials, teachers and others have been tasked with identifying people with a fever so they can be quarantined.

North Korea said it had kept the virus from its borders during the worst of the global pandemic.

While the claim was largely doubted, its strict border closure, large-scale quarantines and propaganda that stressed anti-virus controls as a matter of “national existence” may have staved off a huge outbreak until now.

More than 564,860 people are in quarantine due to the fever, while eight further deaths and 392,920 newly detected fevers were reported on Monday, the North’s emergency anti-virus headquarters said.

The state, which has one of the worst healthcare systems in the world, had rejected vaccines offered by the Covax distribution programme. It also lacks access to the number of kits required for conducting large-scale tests.

First Published: 16th May, 2022 17:08 IST

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