Pyongyang, May 14, 2022 – Covid in North Korea And lockdown: the country of Kim Jong-un others reported 21 deaths for the virus – after i six announced yesterday – and more 174,400 people “in a feverish state” nationwide, reporting one worsening scenario: the KCNA released updated data on the pandemic crisis after the leader chaired a morning meeting of the Politburo, calling the Coronavirus “a great turmoil since the founding of the country”.
A total of 524,440 people showed symptoms of fever between late April and May 13, according to the KCNA, of which 243,630 recovered and about 280,810 in treatment. On Thursday the hermit state made official the first outbreak in over two years of pandemic.
Kim: “A great tumult”
In the Politburo session – Kim Jong-un for the first time he wore the mask – the modalities for the rapid supply and distribution of medical material destined to face the emergency were mainly discussed in order to “minimize the loss of human life”, specified the KCNA, according to which Kim was informed about the situation by the staff state headquarters for epidemic prevention.
The situation has been described as “a great turmoil since the country’s founding”, but the leader urged all relevant authorities to look at the “successful” Coronavirus control measures taken by other countries, including the China which is the historical ally of the hermit state.
The state without vaccinations
North Korea has a sanitary system almost inexistent, among the worst in the world, with a chronic shortage of essential medicines and equipment. Without Covid vaccines, antivirals, or mass testing capabilities, North Korea will have a hard time managing a mass epidemic.
China as an example
China, the only major economy in the world to maintain a zero-Covid policy, is currently battling multiple outbreaks of the Omicron variant, most notably in Shanghai whose 26 million residents have been under lockdown or severe restrictions since the end of March. North Korea has turned down offers of Covid vaccines from China, Russia and the World Health Organization’s Covax program. Beijing, meanwhile, has renewed its willingness to provide aid to Pyongyang, as well as South Korea which, surprisingly, has offered to send vaccines and other medical supplies.
Despite the Covid-19 crisis, new satellite images have indicated that Pyongyang has resumed construction of a nuclear reactor for a long time inactive that experts estimate about 10 times larger than the existing one in Yongbyon, while on Friday Seoul sounded the alarm because the North “seems ready for a new atomic test” at the Punggye-ri site.