Pyongyang reports 21 deaths and more than 170,000 new cases of

North Korea today reported the detection on the eve of some 174,400 new cases and 21 deaths linked to a fever of unknown origin, apparently linked to covid-19, in what it has described as its biggest crisis to date.

Pyongyang reports 21 deaths and more than 170,000 new cases of

North Korea today reported the detection on the eve of some 174,400 new cases and 21 deaths linked to a fever of unknown origin, apparently linked to covid-19, in what it has described as its biggest crisis to date.

Pyonyang has facilitated this Saturday the update of the epidemic data recorded until the day before after the call early in the day for an urgent meeting of the national politburo chaired by the leader, Kim Jong-un, who referred to the health crisis as "the greatest ordeal since the founding of the country".

According to the balance, published by the KCNA news agency, from the end of April until Friday, 524,440 people suffering from said fever (as it would be referring to the pandemic disease) had been detected in the country, of which 234,630 would have recovered and 288,810 would be receiving treatment.

The number of deaths recorded by North Korea and linked to this symptomatology amounts to 27, of which at least one tested positive for covid-19, as revealed by the country.

Pyongyang confirmed this Thursday its first cases of covid since the detection of the disease more than two years ago in neighboring China.

The country's authorities detected the pathogen after testing a group of people in Pyongyang in which the omicron BA.2 subvariant was identified, which has spread rapidly throughout the world in the last six months and has led to the Asian country to declare the "maximum health emergency".

The situation is worrying because of how contagious the detected variant has proven to be and because the country, which has little testing capacity, has rejected the donation of almost five million doses of vaccines through the COVAX mechanism, has not put a single puncture and does not yet have a national inoculation plan.

At the meeting held on Tuesday, the politburo discussed practical measures "to rapidly suppress and control the spread of infectious diseases throughout the country" and review its anti-virus system as soon as possible, according to details released by KCNA.

Kim, who pointed out the seriousness of the situation, called for strengthening quarantine measures to overcome "the crisis", and assured that most of the patients are having a "mild" illness.

The leader of the North Korean regime defended the strict border closure that his country undertook in 2020, with the outbreak of the pandemic, and urged local authorities to refine their quarantine systems and make the population aware of its importance.

Kim blamed the current epidemic situation in the country on the "incompetence" and "irresponsibility" of the organizations that were supposed to manage the quarantines, stressing the importance of them studying the policies applied in other countries and their achievements.

The moment chosen by the regime to make public the detection of its first cases of covid has intrigued analysts, since it took place just a week before the president of the United States, Joe Biden, travels to South Korea.

Pyongyang, which adds a record number of missile launches in 2022 after approving a weapons modernization plan last year, has turned a deaf ear to offers to resume dialogue between Seoul and Washington, although at the same time Biden has hardly made direct references to North Korea during his tenure.

All eyes are now on the message that comes out of the summit between Biden and the new South Korean president, Yoon Suk-yeol, who has promised to be less tolerant with the North, although he has said he is willing to talk to Pyongyang about sending vaccines. .


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