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HomeWorld NewsWHO says COVID in N.Korea likely 'getting worse, not better'

WHO says COVID in N.Korea likely ‘getting worse, not better’

After reporting a lack of independent data, the World Health Organization (WHO) negated North Korea’s reports of progress in the independent country’s first fight against the Covid virus, claiming that it is most likely worsening rather than getting better.

The tipping point to the publication of the video was that Pyongyang has never directly stated how many individuals have tested positive for the Covid-19 virus. However, analysts believe the data published through government-controlled media are underreported, making it impossible to estimate the situation’s scope.

During a video briefing on Wednesday, WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan sent the idea of the WHO being in the dark, saying, “We assume the situation is getting worse, not better. We have real issues getting access to the raw data and the actual situation on the ground.” The rest of the video consisted of Ryan assuring the world that the WHO is working with North Korea’s neighboring countries, such as South Korea and China, to try and get a better gauge of the infection rate and the death toll. 

On Thursday, following the video posted, North Korea reported 96,610 more people showing fever amid its nationwide lockdown. News agency KCNA said the lockdown efforts in the independent country are “aimed at containing the impoverished country’s first confirmed Covid-19 outbreak.” However, the media failed to mention whether there were any new deaths resulting from the outbreak. 

South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported the third consecutive daily tally below 100,000, down from a high of 390,000 daily cases in mid-May.

KCNA agency added that some provinces were “intensifying” their anti-epidemic campaigns, including enforcing some lockdowns and coastal blockades; while increasing the production of drugs and medical supplies, carrying out disinfection work, and continuing critical work such as farming.

Over the past month, the WHO offered to aid North Korea as much as needed, including vaccines and medical supplies. However, the North repeatedly refused the helping hand. 

North Korean Premier Kim Tok Hun claimed to have inspected a pair of pharmaceutical factories amid the push to put North Korea’s drug industry “on a new higher level,” including meeting international standards, KCNA reported. Hum declared that there was, “Sufficient production and supply of medicines serve as a prerequisite to protecting the people’s lives and health in the current rigorous anti-epidemic campaign,” 

Despite having one of the worst health systems globally, KCNA reported that today, Thursday, June 2, more than 95% of Covid cases had recovered. The WHO continues to work alongside North Korea’s neighbors to get a seemingly more realistic number of infections.



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