Health officials have confirmed a total of 50 deaths and more than 1.21 million cases of ‘fever’ since late April
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has criticized senior public health officials for their “irresponsible work attitude” amid a growing Covid-19 outbreak, ordering the country’s military forces to provide assistance to stabilize the situation.
Speaking at an emergency politburo meeting on Sunday, Kim Jong-un issued an order “on immediately stabilizing the drug supply in Pyongyang City by involving the powerful forces of the People’s Army military medical field”, according to the state-run KCNA.
It’s unclear exactly how the military will be involved in the nationwide effort to stop the spread of the mysterious “fever,” but Kim specifically pointed out the need “Correct vulnerabilities in the drug supply system and take strong measures for drug transportation.”
The order comes after Kim complained that the drugs rolled out of state stockpiles “were not properly supplied in time by the pharmacies”. He accused civilian officials charged with responding to the outbreak of “not properly acknowledging the current crisis but speaking only from the spirit of serving the people with dedication.”
North Korea is fighting a “explosive” spread of the disease since the end of April, with a “maximum emergency quarantine system” and strict lockdowns introduced across the country last week. Authorities have confirmed that at least one patient has died with the Covid-19 Omicron variant, but without mass testing and vaccination programs they have refrained from attributing further cases to the virus that caused the disease. global pandemic.
The official death toll reached 50 on Sunday, with the total number of infected individuals surpassing 1,213,550. Some 648,630 have recovered, while at least 564,860 are in quarantine or undergoing treatment, according to the bulletin now published daily. by state media.
Most deaths to date are attributed to inappropriate drug prescriptions, overdoses and other cases of “neglect” by health workers. Some 1.3 million North Koreans have reportedly been mobilized to help “Hygiene Information, Examination and Treatment Service”, while the Ministry of Health has compiled a suitable treatment “Guidelines, Methods and Tactics.
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