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North Korea welcomes the recovery as the WHO worries about missing data

SEUL – North Korea said Wednesday that more than a million people have already recovered from suspected COVID-19 just a week after the discovery of an outbreak that appears to be trying to drive in isolation as global experts express deep concern about the threat to public health.

The country’s anti-virus headquarters announced 232,880 new cases of fever and six other deaths in state media on Wednesday. These figures increase the total to 62 deaths and more than 1.7 million febrile cases since late April. It says at least 691,170 remain in quarantine.

External experts believe that most of the fevers are COVID-19, but North Korea lacks tests to confirm so much. The outbreak is almost certainly greater than the number of fevers, as the virus can be transmitted and spread by people who do not develop fever or other symptoms.

It is also unclear how more than a million people have recovered so quickly when there are limited medicines, medical equipment and health facilities to treat the country’s 26 million poor, unvaccinated population. Some experts say the North can simply release people from quarantine once their fever subsides.

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Worldwide, COVID-19 has killed about 6.3 million people, and the actual number is estimated to be much higher. Countries with outbreaks of similar size to the official number of cod in North Korea have confirmed thousands of deaths each.

The director general of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adanom Gebreyesus, said on Tuesday that North Korea had not responded to a request for more information about its outbreak.

Before recognizing COVID-19 infections for the first time last week, North Korea adhered to a widely dubious claim that it protected the virus. It also avoids the millions of vaccines offered by the UN-backed COVAX distribution program, possibly due to international monitoring requirements.

North Korea and Eritrea are the only sovereign UN member states that have not released vaccines, but Tedros said neither side has responded to WHO proposals for vaccines, drugs, tests and technical support.

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“The WHO is deeply concerned about the risk of further spread to (North Korea),” Tedros said, noting that the country has an alarming number of people with comorbidities that make them more likely to get severe COVID-19.

The head of the WHO in emergencies, Dr. Michael Ryan, said that uncontrolled transmission of the virus could lead to new options, but that the WHO was powerless to act unless the parties accepted its help.

The North has so far ignored South Korea’s rival’s offer to provide vaccines, drugs and health personnel, but experts say the North may be more willing to accept aid from its main ally, China. The South Korean government said it could not confirm media reports that North Korea had flown multiple planes to return emergency supplies from China on Tuesday.

During a meeting of the ruling party’s Politburo on Tuesday, North Korean officials continued to express confidence that the country could overcome the crisis on its own, with Politburo members discussing ways to “maintain a good chance on the overall front to prevent the epidemic.” the official Korean central This was reported by the news agency on Wednesday.

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It is suspected that North Korea is underestimating the deaths to mitigate the blow to Kim, who is already facing the most difficult moment of her decade in power. The pandemic has further damaged an economy already shattered by mismanagement and US-led sanctions for developing Kim’s nuclear weapons and missiles.

At a Politburo meeting, Kim criticized officials for their early response to the pandemic, which he said highlighted “immaturity in the state’s capacity to deal with the crisis” and blamed the country’s vulnerability for their “negative attitude, laxity and inactivity,” KCNA said.

He called on officials to step up control of viruses in the workplace and redouble their efforts to improve the supply of daily necessities and stabilize living conditions, the report said.

North Korea has also deployed nearly 3,000 military medical officers to help deliver drugs to pharmacies, and has sent public health officials, teachers and students studying health care to identify people with fevers so they can be placed under quarantine. The country is counting on finding people with symptoms and isolating them in shelters, as there is a lack of vaccines, high-tech medicine and equipment, as well as intensive care units, which reduce hospitalizations and deaths in other nations.

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While raising concerns about the epidemic, Kim also stressed that his economic goals must be achieved. State media reports show that large groups of workers continue to gather on farms, mining facilities, power plants and construction sites, arguing to ensure that their work is “on schedule”.

The explosion of COVID-19 in North Korea came amid provocative circulations in gun demonstrations, including its first intercontinental ballistic missile test in nearly five years, on the verge of forcing the United States to accept the idea of ​​the North as a nuclear power and negotiate economic discounts and rebates for security from a position of force.

U.S. and South Korean officials also believe North Korea could carry out its seventh nuclear test explosion this month.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Kim reaffirmed that he would “awaken the entire party as () an active volcano once again in a state of emergency” to prove its leadership in history and time and to “defend the country’s and people’s well-being flawlessly and demonstrate that the whole world regains the strength and spirit of heroic Korea, “KCNA said. The report does not make a direct reference to a major weapons test.

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The latest commercial satellite images of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site show repairs and preparation of a still unused tunnel in the southern part of the site, which is likely to be completed for a nuclear test, according to an analysis published Tuesday by the Beyond Parallel website. managed by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

North Korea welcomes the recovery as the WHO worries about missing data

Source link North Korea welcomes the recovery as the WHO worries about missing data

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