North Korea has long stated that it is corona-free - now a corona outbreak and other deaths have been reported, the country is in a state of emergency (archive image)
Jon Chol Jin/AP
North Korea has reported 21 new deaths due to a corona outbreak.
The victims were among the more than 520,000 people who had had a fever since the end of April.
The number of deaths has now risen to 27, the state-controlled media reported on Saturday.
However, it remained unclear how many of them are actually due to corona disease.
The largely isolated and authoritarian country officially confirmed infections with the pathogen on Thursday for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Spread of the "malignant disease"
At a meeting of the Politburo of the ruling Workers' Party, North Korean head of state Kim Jong Un reportedly described the spread of the "malignant disease" as a major upheaval in the country's history.
The public health crisis is due to incompetence and irresponsibility.
Kim Jong Un declared a state of emergency on Thursday and ordered a nationwide lockdown.
Initially, there was talk of an undetermined number of residents of the capital Pyongyang who had contracted the corona virus.
On Friday it was said that the virus had already spread across the country.
Six people with fever died and the omicron subvariant BA.2 was detected in one victim.
How people are cared for during a curfew was considered unclear.
According to UN organizations, large sections of the population do not have regular access to food.
The rapid spread of the virus could lead to a crisis as the country lacks medical resources and refuses international help with vaccinations.
North Korea had long claimed to be corona-free.
The information was doubted abroad.