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North Korea mobilizes 1.3 million people to combat the Covid spread

North Korea Kim Jong Un
North Korea Kim Jong Un

North Korea state media announced on Sunday that fifteen more had died from “fever,” while another 260,000 are suffering from fever symptoms as the country confronts a widespread COVID-19 outbreak.

North Korea certainly lacks the testing capacity to confirm COVID cases in a national scale, and “fever” appears to be the term insted.

Since state media reported this week that the omicron strain of COVID-19 spread from Pyongyang in late April, hundreds of thousands of fever cases have been ascribed to the disease.

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The Rodong Sinmun reported on Sunday that approximately 1.3 million North Koreans have been mobilized to combat the Covid spread, while the Korean Central News Agency reported that “epidemic prevention posts” have been set up to “totally check the incursions and spread of the malignant virus.”

State media also continued to imply that the majority of deaths since the omicron epidemic began were not caused by the virus, but rather by “careless” drug usage owing to a “lack of awareness of stealth omicron variant viral infection sickness and its right treatment.”

According to the state daily, the DPRK’s health ministry has begun compiling “treatment guidelines, procedures, and strategies,” while emergency meetings were conducted in Okryu Children’s Hospital and Pyongyang Maternity Hospital.

According to reports, party leaders have begun giving “extra medicine” in an effort to supply all regions of the country with appropriate medicines. After two and a half years of stringent trade restrictions, North Korea certainly lacks the medical materials necessary to treat its population for COVID-19 symptoms.

The Rodong Sinmun made no mention of a vaccination campaign in the country, despite the fact that no North Koreans are known to be immunized. President Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea has volunteered to assist the North in acquiring vaccinations and other medical supplies.

North Korea confirmed the outbreak of COVID-19 for the first time on May 12, days after the highly infectious omicron form was identified.

United States and South Africa

North Korea has rejected offers of Covid vaccinations from China and Russia, as well as the World Health Organization’s Covax program, ostensibly because giving the vaccines would require external oversight.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases announced last week that there were 10,017 new Covid-19 cases every day in South Africa. Since January, the institution recorded more than 10,000 new illnesses every day for the first time. According to health officials, the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron sub-variants are now prominent in South Africa. January marked the end of the fourth wave of Covid in the nation, although the southern hemisphere winter months had long been considered a possible issue.

However, it does not appear that the quick spread of the new variations has resulted in a corresponding increase in hospitalizations and severe sickness, although a further 114 fatalities were announced on Friday, bringing the official total to 100,744.

The South African minister of health, Joe Phaahla, stated that vaccinations remained the greatest protection against the virus and claimed that the country’s immunization campaign had struggled to fulfill even modest goals. Just under 50 percent of the approximately 40 million adult population have had at least one dose of vaccination, but just 45 percent are completely immunized. It is believed that more than two-thirds of the population has some immunity to the virus due to previous exposure.

In the United States, health officials have stated that coronavirus infections are rising in most of New York State’s counties, putting them on high alert under national health standards that encourage wearing masks indoors, especially in schools. On Thursday, there were more than 10,000 new cases each day, a 47 percent increase in two weeks, increasing by 28 percent to more than 2,600 per day. In New York State, around 77 percent of the population is completely vaccinated, whereas, in New York City, this number jumps to 79 percent.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reclassified Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 as “variants of concern” last week, stating that they posed a threat of a significant overall increase in Covid-19 cases in the EU in the coming weeks and months, but no “significant increase in infection severity.”



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