North Korea reports first deaths after Covid outbreak

i24NEWS - AFP

2 min read
A health official sprays disinfectant as part of preventative measures against Covid-19 on September 21, 2021, in the Daesong Department Store in Pyongy
KIM Won Jin / AFPA health official sprays disinfectant as part of preventative measures against Covid-19 on September 21, 2021, in the Daesong Department Store in Pyongy

Some 187,000 people are being 'isolated and treated'

North Korea said on Thursday at least six people sick with a fever had died, at least one who tested positive for Covid-19, just a day after the country reported its first cases of the disease.

"A fever whose cause couldn't be identified explosively spread nationwide from late April," the official Korean Central News Agency said, adding that 187,000 are being “isolated and treated” for fever.

"Six persons died (one of them tested positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron,)" the agency said.

Pyongyang announced the first cases of the virus on Thursday, after “a fever whose cause couldn’t be identified explosively spread nationwide from late April.”

On Thursday, the nuclear-armed pariah state said it would implement a “maximum emergency epidemic prevention system.” Kim Jong Un ordered nationwide lockdowns to stop the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, 18,000 new cases of illness were reported that day.

Experts say North Korea will struggle to cope with a major outbreak, as the country’s medical system is crumbling and its population of 25 million is not vaccinated.

North Korea has refused offers of Covid-19 vaccines by the World Health Organization, Russia and China.

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