North Korea has reported another jump in the suspected COVID-19 case

North Korea on Wednesday reported 232,880 new cases of fever and six more deaths as leader Kim Jong Un accused officials of “immaturity” and “laxity” in managing the growing COVID-19 outbreak across the country. The country’s anti-virus headquarters said. The rapid spread of the fever since the end of April has killed 62 people and left more than 1.7 million sick. It said more than a million people had recovered but at least 691,170 were in quarantine.

Outside experts say most of the illnesses will be Kovid-19, although North Korea has been able to confirm a small number of Kovid-19 cases since acknowledging the Omicron outbreak last week, probably due to insufficient testing capacity. Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated in North Korea, with its fragile healthcare system and rejection of internationally available vaccines that have left 26 million people unvaccinated.

Given the lack of tests and resources to monitor patients, the outbreak is almost certainly higher than the number of fevers, and there are suspicions that North Korea is reporting fewer deaths to soften the blow for Kim, who is already navigating the most difficult moment of her decade. In power. The epidemic has further damaged the economy, which has already collapsed due to mismanagement of Kim’s nuclear weapons and missile development and US-led sanctions.

North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Kim criticized officials for their initial epidemic response at a meeting of the ruling party’s politburo on Tuesday, which he said blamed “immaturity of state power in dealing with the crisis” and weakness on their “positive attitude, relaxation and relaxation.” Non-activity. ” He called on authorities to “double the effort” to strengthen virus control in the workplace and improve the supply of daily necessities and stabilize living conditions, KCNA said on Wednesday.

A few days after Kim’s remarks, he slammed officials for how they were handling the release of drugs released from state stockpiles and mobilizing his army to help transport supplies to a pharmacy in the capital, Pyongyang, which was open 24 hours a day to deal with the crisis. Before acknowledging the COVID-19 infection last Thursday, North Korea insisted on a perfect record for keeping away viruses that have reached almost every corner of the world, a claim that was widely suspected. But its extremely strict border closures, large-scale quarantine and propaganda that emphasized anti-virus control as a matter of “national existence” have so far halted a massive outbreak.

It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Kim’s government avoided the millions of vaccine shots provided by the UN-backed COVAX distribution program, probably because of the need for international monitoring attached to them. It has so far ignored offers from rival South Korea to provide vaccines, medicines and health workers, but experts say the North may be willing to seek help from its main ally China. The South Korean government has said it could not confirm media reports that North Korea flew multiple planes on Tuesday to bring back emergency supplies from China.

During Tuesday’s meeting, North Korean officials expressed confidence that the country could overcome the crisis on its own, with Politburo members discussing ways to “maintain a consistently good opportunity on the overall epidemic prevention front.” KCNA says. Masked for the first time since North Korea admitted to the COVID-19 infection last week, state media photos from Tuesday’s meeting showed Kim and members of the Politburo engaged in empty-mouthed discussions on possible expressions of confidence.

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