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Daily fever cases in North Korea fall below 200,000 for two consecutive days

Checking the temperature of people in Pyongyang province, May 17. (Photo: AP)

Wave COVID-19 first in North Koreaannounced on May 12, has raised concerns about the lack of vaccines, inadequate health infrastructure and the risk of a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million people.

US President Joe Biden on May 21 said that Washington had offered to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to North Korea but “received no response”.

North Korea reported 167,650 new fever patients on May 22 and one more death. According to North Korea’s state news agency (KCNA), more than 2.33 million of the total 2.81 million cases reported since the end of April had recovered as of May 22 evening. The officially confirmed death toll is 68.

While remaining silent on offers of assistance from South Korea and the United States to combat the first COVID-19 outbreak, North Korea claims that it has made “favorable progress” in controlling the disease in the country.

The number of daily fever cases in North Korea fell below 200,000 for two consecutive days - Photo 1.

North Korean military personnel provide COVID-19 medicine to people at a pharmacy in Pyongyang, May 18, 2022. (Photo: Reuters)

A senior US administration official said on May 22, COVID-19 restrictions could play a role in North Korea’s slow response to the epidemic.

North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Instead, the country’s health authorities report the number of patients with fever symptoms, making it difficult to gauge the size of the COVID-19 wave, experts say.

The North Korean government has distributed food and medicine across the country, and military medics have been deployed to help distribute medicines and conduct exams.

According to KCNA, pharmaceutical factories in North Korea “are speeding up production”, but did not specify what drugs are being produced.

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