North Korea has reported no new “fever” instances for the primary time since mid-Could, when it abruptly introduced its first home outbreak of COVID-19 and imposed powerful measures to curb the unfold of the virus.
North Korea’s state emergency anti-epidemic heart mentioned it discovered no sufferers with a fever in the latest 24-hour interval, state media reported Saturday.
He mentioned the full variety of instances was about 4.8 million and about 99.99 p.c of sufferers had totally recovered. Some 74 folks have died from the virus, in accordance with official figures, which might make the North’s loss of life charge of 0.0016 p.c the bottom on the planet.
Shin Younger-jeon, a professor at Hanyang College’s medical college in Seoul, mentioned such a low loss of life toll was virtually “not possible” to realize.
“It may very well be the results of a mixture of lack of testing capability, counting points given the truth that older individuals are extra more likely to die from COVID-19, principally from house, and political explanation why leaders are usually not they wish to publish a large loss of life toll. ”, he wrote in an evaluation printed on Friday.
Infectious illness consultants have questioned official updates on the North Korea outbreak from the beginning, with the World Well being Group (WHO) saying final month that it believed the state of affairs was getting worse, not higher, amid from the absence of unbiased information.
Many additionally frightened that an outbreak within the remoted nation of 26 million would have devastating penalties as a result of few folks had been vaccinated, many had been malnourished and the well being system was in a dilapidated state.
“The distinctive organizational energy and unity of (North Korea’s) society is totally displayed in striving to realize a victory within the emergency anti-epidemic marketing campaign by totally executing the anti-epidemic insurance policies of the social gathering and the state,” mentioned the official. the Korean Central Information Company mentioned on Saturday.
Earlier this month, Pyongyang mentioned it was on monitor to “lastly defuse” the outbreak, whilst its neighbors skilled a resurgence of instances pushed by Omicron subvariants.
The day by day variety of instances has fallen sharply in latest days with three instances reported on Friday and 11 on Thursday in comparison with a peak of round 400,000 per day in Could. The nation has recognized solely a fraction of sufferers as confirmed instances of COVID-19 as a result of an absence of testing kits.
In an indication of the outbreak slowing, North Korea final week held big public occasions within the capital Pyongyang, the place hundreds of aged Korean Warfare veterans and others from throughout the nation gathered to have a good time the 69th anniversary of the battle. finish of the Korean Warfare. Images shared on state media confirmed few folks sporting masks.
Shin Younger-jeon, a professor of preventive medication at Seoul Hanyang College, says North Korea is aware of that zero instances doesn’t imply there is no such thing as a COVID-19 as a result of prevalence of asymptomatic instances, so it’s unlikely to announce that it has handed. formally the pandemic. anytime.
“North Korea’s state media has already used expressions as whether it is profitable its battle towards the virus. The one different expression they’ll use now could be to declare that the coronavirus has been fully eradicated from their territory,” Shin mentioned. “But when new instances emerge once more, North Korea would lose face.”
Given the nation’s lengthy and porous border with China, North Korea’s major ally, it can most likely additionally discover it tough to announce victory over the pandemic till China does, mentioned Lee Yo Han, a professor on the Graduate College of Public Well being. from Ajou College within the South. Korea.
The border between North Korea and China has been largely closed for greater than two and a half years, aside from a number of months when it reopened earlier this 12 months, and it isn’t but clear if it can reopen.
China is at the moment battling a collection of COVID-19 outbreaks in numerous cities throughout the nation, however stays dedicated to its zero-COVID technique of eradicating the virus wherever it seems.
“As state media have additionally been speaking about variants, it stays to be seen whether or not they may ease the virus guidelines and raise the border lockdown,” mentioned an official at South Korea’s Ministry of Unification, which handles cross-border relations.
KCNA mentioned a speedy cell remedy drive remained on excessive alert and efforts had been underway to “detect and eradicate the epidemic” till the final affected person had totally recovered.