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North Korea says Covid situation under control with no new fever deaths

North Korea said on Tuesday there were no new deaths among fever patients in the country, the first time since it reported an outbreak of COVID-19 nearly two weeks ago. , adding that she was seeing a “steady” downward trend in pandemic-related cases.

The wave of COVID-19, which North Korea first declared on May 12, has fueled concerns about a lack of vaccines, insufficient medical infrastructure and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million people. ‘inhabitants.

But the North said it was reporting “success” in containing the spread of the virus, and no new fever deaths were reported late Monday despite adding 134,510 new patients.

It was a third day in a row that the daily figure remained below 200,000 and the first time the North has reported no new deaths since the number of daily fever patients was announced, according to the state news agency. KCNA.

Seemingly starved of testing supplies, North Korea did not confirm the total number of people who tested positive for the coronavirus, but instead reported the number of people showing symptoms of fever.

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The total number of such cases, recorded since late April, rose to 2.95 million, while the death toll stood at 68, according to KCNA.

“A few days after the activation of the maximum emergency epidemic prevention system, the nationwide morbidity and mortality rates have decreased significantly and the number of people recovered has increased, which has helped to curb and effectively control the spread of the pandemic disease and maintain the net stable situation,” KCNA said.

Doubtful credibility

Many analysts doubt the credibility of the figures, however, saying they only demonstrate how difficult it is to assess the true scale of the COVID-19 wave in the isolated country.

“Through a mixture of inadequate testing, disincentives at lower administrative levels to report serious outbreaks, cases, deaths and whatever political motivations the upper echelons may have, we have statistics that are essentially nonsense,” said Christopher Green, a Korea specialist at Leiden University. in the Netherlands, wrote on Twitter.

North Korea said authorities were distributing food and medicine across the country, with military doctors deployed to help distribute medicine and conduct health checks.

The KCNA also said North Korea was increasing production of essential medical supplies, although it did not specify exactly which types were being produced.

South Korea and the United States have offered to help North Korea fight the pandemic, including with vaccines, but Pyongyang has not responded to the offer.

“Statistically speaking, the daily announcement is hardly comparable to international standards and seems more aimed at domestic audiences,” said Moon Jin-soo, associate professor at Seoul National University College of Medicine, referring to the rate. reported mortality of 0.002% in the North. .

South Korea’s death rate from COVID-19 stood at 0.13 percent on Tuesday.

South Korea’s spy agency earlier told lawmakers that the daily figure announced by North Korea appears to include non-COVID-19 patients, as a number of waterborne diseases were already prevalent in the country. before announcing the coronavirus epidemic.

(Edited by : Asmita pants)

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