Two days after the country announced that it had recorded the first case of Covid-19 on its soil and the authorities rushed to impose closure measures, North Korea counted, on Saturday, 21 new deaths caused by a disease that it said was a “fever”.
The North Korean official news agency reported that, on Friday, 174,440 new cases of “fever” were recorded, including 21 deaths, but it did not mention the number of deaths from Covid.
On Thursday, the isolated country declared a “dangerous emergency”, with the transition to a “maximum emergency epidemiological prevention system”, after the first infections with the mutant Omicron were confirmed.
It also saw earlier that leader Kim Jong-un visited the National Epidemic Prevention Headquarters and “was briefed on the spread of COVID-19 throughout the country.”
None of North Korea’s 25 million residents has received a vaccine against Covid, because Pyongyang has rejected vaccination offers from the World Health Organization, China and Russia.
President with a mask for the first time
It is reported that Kim, who appeared for the first time on television, was presiding, wearing a muzzle, an emergency meeting of the Politburo on Thursday regarding the health situation and ordered the imposition of quarantine measures in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
North Korea was one of the first countries to close its borders in January 2020 when the virus appeared in neighboring China, and it has always boasted of its ability to prevent the virus from being transmitted to it. Pyongyang has never reported any confirmed cases of the virus to the World Health Organization.