Corona in North Korea: more and more "fever" deaths confirmed - media speak of "negligence"
Created: 05/15/2022, 06:04
By: Kathrin Reikowski
Kim Jong Un in a news broadcast seen at a Seoul train station.
© Ahn Young-Joon/AP/dpa
Corona outbreak in North Korea: State media attribute deaths to "negligence" - Kim Jon Un ordered nationwide lockdowns.
Pyongyang (North Korea) - There is said to be great unrest in North Korea: 174,440 new cases of fever were registered on Friday, the state news agency KCNA reported on Saturday.
The government has confirmed another 21 deaths after an allegedly massive corona outbreak.
Overall, there have been only 27 deaths in North Korea since the pandemic began.
"Fever" is given as the cause.
How many of the 21 deaths were due to the corona virus remained unclear.
According to experts, the internationally isolated country does not have sufficient capacity for mass testing.
Kim announced that Pyongyang will follow China's model for nationwide lockdowns.
North Korea should learn from China's "experience and fruitful achievements".
Corona in North Korea: Kim Jong Un speaks of great unrest in the country and orders lockdowns
According to the KCNA, a total of 524,440 people across the country have contracted fever, of which 234,630 have now fully recovered.
The total number of deaths is 27. On Thursday, North Korea confirmed the first corona outbreak since the pandemic began more than two years ago.
The highly contagious omicron variant BA.2 was detected in patients suffering from fever in the capital Pyongyang.
Ruler Kim Jong Un ordered nationwide lockdowns.
At a Politburo meeting on Friday, Kim said the outbreak had sparked "great unrest" in the country, according to KCNA.
However, he is confident that "we can overcome this malignant infectious disease within a very short time".
According to the KCNA, the meeting discussed the distribution of emergency drugs and treatment methods.
Corona in North Korea: State media attribute deaths to negligence
State media said the deaths so far were "due to negligence, including drug overdose, due to a lack of knowledge of scientific treatment methods."
The already largely isolated communist North Korea sealed off its borders in early 2020 to protect itself from the pandemic.
According to experts, the country has one of the worst health systems in the world.
North Korea expert Leif-Eric Easley, a professor at Ewha University in Seoul, interprets Kim's rhetoric as a pessimistic signal to his own population.
"His language gives the impression that the situation in North Korea will get worse before it gets better," he told AFP.
In his words, the ruler could "pave the way for international aid" - or "gather behind him a population that faces further victims".
North Korea is surrounded by countries that have all had or are having severe omicron outbreaks.
Unlike in neighboring countries, however, there are no vaccinations: None of North Korea's 25 million inhabitants have been vaccinated against the corona virus.