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North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles Covid-19

By By Kim Tong-Hyung and Hyung-Jin Kim, Associated Press
North Korea has reported 21 new deaths and 174,440 more people with fever symptoms (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

North Korea has reported 21 new deaths and 174,440 more people with fever symptoms.

The country made the announcement on Saturday as it scrambles to slow the spread of Covid-19 across its unvaccinated population.

The new deaths and cases, which were from Friday, increased total numbers to 27 deaths and 524,440 illnesses amid a rapid spread of fever since late April.

North Korea said 243,630 people had recovered and 280,810 remained in quarantine.

State media didn’t specify how many of the fever cases and deaths were confirmed as Covid-19 infections.

The country imposed what it described as maximum preventive measures on Thursday after confirming its first Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

It had previously held for more than two years to a widely doubted claim of a perfect record keeping out the virus that has spread to nearly every place in the world.

North Korea has previously refused vaccines from the UN (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/AP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a ruling party Politburo meeting on Saturday described the outbreak as a historically “great upheaval” and called for unity between the government and people to stabilise the outbreak as quickly as possible.

Officials during the meeting mainly discussed ways to swiftly distribute medical supplies the country has released from its emergency reserves, Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency said.

In a report presented to the Politburo, the North’s emergency epidemic office blamed most of the deaths on “mistakes like overmuch taking of drugs, bereft of scientific medical treatment”.

(Jon Chol Jin/AP)

Mr Kim, who said he was donating some of his private medicine supplies to help the anti-virus campaign, expressed optimism that the country could bring the outbreak under control.

He added that most transmissions are occurring within communities that are isolated from one another and not spreading from region to region.

He called for officials to take lessons from the successful pandemic responses of other nations and picked an example in China, the North’s major ally.

Experts say a failure to control the spread of Covid-19 could have devastating consequences in North Korea, considering the country’s poor health care system and that its 26 million people are largely unvaccinated.

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Dive Deeper:
North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it continues to battle COVID-19 spread
North Korea scrambles to slow the spread of COVID-19 across its largely unvaccinated population.
North Korea confirms 21 new deaths as it battles COVID-19
North Korea says 21 people died and 174,440 people were newly found with fever symptoms on Friday alone as the…
North Korea reports 21 new deaths as it battles Covid outbreak
Seoul (AFP) - North Korea announced 21 new "fever" deaths Saturday and said more than half a million people had…
North Korea confirms 21 deaths as it continues to battle Covid-19 outbreak
North Korea has confirmed that 21 people have died with “fever” as it continues to battle a Covid-19 outbreak.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
21 more dead as North Korea battles Covid outbreak
Seoul (AFP) - North Korea on Saturday reported 21 additional deaths from 'fever', two days after the country announced its…
North Korea reports 15 more suspected Covid-19 deaths
North Korea has confirmed 15 more deaths and hundreds of thousands of additional patients with fevers as it mobilises more…
Get all your news in one place