Fifteen new deaths due to "
" have been recorded in North Korea, three days after the official announcement of the very first case of Covid-19 in the country, the official KCNA agency said on Sunday May 15.
Read alsoNorth Korea: 21 new deaths in the midst of the Covid epidemic
According to her, a total of 42 people died, while 820,620 cases of "
" were reported, of which at least 324,550 required medical treatment.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un admitted on Saturday that a "
" has caused "
" in the country.
All provinces, cities and counties across the country have been completely locked down, and workplaces, production centers and residences have been isolated from each other
,” KCNA reported.
Although it has urgently activated its quarantine system in order to stem the spread of the disease among the 25 million inhabitants, none of whom are vaccinated, the country reports a large number of new cases every day.
Pyongyang announced on Thursday that people had tested positive for Omicron's BA.2 subvariant and its first death.
Kim Jong Un immediately ordered containment measures.
North Korea, which was one of the first countries in the world to close its borders in January 2020 after Covid-19 emerged in neighboring China, has long boasted of its ability to keep the virus at bay. .
It had not previously reported any confirmed cases to WHO.
The country's health system, one of the worst in the world (it was ranked 193rd out of 195 countries by a survey by the American University Johns Hopkins), lacks essential drugs and equipment, according to experts.
Read alsoCovid-19: the Ba.4 and Ba.5 subvariants could lead to a resumption of contamination in Europe
Pyongyang has indeed so far rejected vaccination offers from the WHO, China and Russia.
In recent days, Beijing and Seoul have offered vaccines and help.
According to KCNA, however, Kim Jong-un said the country
will "actively learn lessons
" from China's pandemic strategy, which consists of large-scale lockdowns and ruthlessly tracing and isolating all positive cases.
KCNA did not say whether the new cases and deaths recorded tested positive for Covid-19, but experts believe the country is unable to carry out a large-scale testing campaign.
According to some analysts, leader Kim may step up his weapons testing program to divert people's attention from the epidemic situation.
The United States and South Korea recently claimed that Pyongyang was preparing to resume nuclear testing, which had been halted since 2017. Satellite images recently indicated that the regime had restarted construction of a reactor at its main nuclear facility.