About 187,800 people are being treated in isolation after a fever of unidentified origin has “explosively spread nationwide” since late April, the official KCNA news agency reported. One of the six people who died was confirmed infected with the Omicron variant.
Seoul: While North Korea had confirmed its first Covid-19 death, news reports now say that a least six have died. Around 3.5 lakh people have been treated for a fever that has spread “explosively” across the nation, a day after its first acknowledgement of a Covid-19 outbreak.
Hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms, state media said on Friday (May 13), offering hints at the potentially dire scale of the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the pandemic. About 187,800 people are being treated in isolation after a fever of unidentified origin has “explosively spread nationwide” since late April, the official KCNA news agency reported.
One of the six people who died was confirmed infected with the omicron variant, KCNA said, but it was not immediately clear how many of the total illnesses were Covid-19. North Korea imposed a nationwide lockdown Thursday after acknowledging a Covid-19 outbreak for the first time in the pandemic. Those reports said tests from an unspecified number of people came back positive for the omicron variant.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the anti-virus command centre on Thursday to check the situation and responses after declaring a “gravest state of emergency” and ordering a national lockdown on Thursday. North Korea has said the outbreak began in the capital of Pyongyang in April. State media did not elaborate on the cause of the outbreak, but the city hosted several massive public events on April 15 and 25, including a military parade and large gatherings where most people did not wear masks.
In another dispatch, KCNA said health authorities were trying to organise testing and treatment systems and bolster disinfection work.
The rapid spread of the virus highlights the potential for a major crisis in a country that lacks medical resources, has refused international help with vaccinations and has kept its borders shut.