North Korea reports six deaths due to 'fever' after confirming COVID-19 outbreak
Approximately 350,000 people had shown signs of the fever, including 18,000 who reported such symptoms on Tuesday alone. So far, around 162,200 of them have been treated, but it is unclear how many have tested positive for COVID-19.
North Korea reported on Friday that six people sick with fever have died, including one who was COVID-19 positive, the official Korean Central News Agency reported following news agency AFP.
"A fever with no known cause has been sweeping the country since late April... Six people died (one of whom tested positive for the BA.2 Omicron subvariant)," it stated.
As per KCNA news agency, 187,800 people are presently being treated in isolation after an unidentified fever "explosively spread nationwide" since late April.
It also added that approximately 350,000 people had shown signs of the fever, including 18,000 who reported such symptoms on Tuesday alone. So far, around 162,200 of them have been treated, but it is unclear how many have tested positive for COVID-19.
Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, visited the anti-virus command centre on Tuesday to examine the situation and responses after declaring the "gravest state emergency" and directing a nationwide lockdown on Thursday.
KCNA added that he "criticised that the simultaneous spread of fever with the capital area as a centre demonstrates that there is a vulnerable point in the epidemic prevention system we have already established."
Kim emphasised the importance of actively isolating and treating feverish people, developing scientific treatment methods and tactics "at lightning speed," and bolstering medication supply measures.
Following the media reports, the health authorities attempted to organise testing and treatment systems and bolster disinfection work.
Meantime, following Reuters, White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Thursday stated that the US has no plans to share Covid-19 vaccines with North Korea. The spokesperson stated that North Korea had repeatedly refused vaccine donations from the COVAX global vaccine sharing project. The US does not currently have plans to share vaccines with the DPRK; it continues to support international efforts to provide critical humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable North Koreans.