North Korea Confirms First COVID-19 Deaths, Day After Admitting Outbreak
The country on Thursday moved into "maximum emergency epidemic prevention system".
North Korea on Friday, 13 May, announced that six people had died due to spike in COVID-19 cases in the country, saying that 1,87,000 people were being "isolated and treated" for fever as it confirmed the virus had spread nationwide.
The official Korean Central News Agency said, "A fever whose cause couldn't be identified explosively spread nationwide from late April…Six persons died (one of them tested positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron)," news agency AFP reported.
Around 3.5 lakh people have developed fever since late April, while 1,62,200 have recovered.
The country had confirmed its first-ever cases of COVID on Thursday, saying it was moving into "maximum emergency epidemic prevention system" after sick patients in the capital Pyongyang tested positive for Omicron.
"On 12 May alone, some 18,000 persons with fever occurred nationwide and as of now up to 1,87,800 people are being isolated and treated," KCNA added.
North Korea had declared a "severe national emergency" on Thursday, after confirming its cases of COVID-19.
State media reported that a sub-variant of the Omicron virus, known as BA.2, had been detected in the capital, Pyongyang.
“There has been the biggest emergency incident in the country, with a hole in our emergency quarantine front, that has been kept safely over the past two years and three months since February 2020,” the official KCNA news agency had said.
Meanwhile, the news agency added, all business activities will be organised in a way that each work unit is “isolated” to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
With the 25-million strong North Korean population not vaccinated at all, a strict national lockdown has been initiated.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently said that the country is one of only two countries in the world that have not vaccinated their people. The other one is Eritrea.
(With inputs from AFP.)
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