N.Korea's fever cases under 20
North Korea's daily fever cases
stayed below 200,000 for a second day in a row, state media said
on Monday, as Pyongyang remained silent on South Korean and U.S.
offers to help fight its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak.
The COVID wave, declared on May 12, has fuelled concerns
over a lack of vaccines, inadequate medical infrastructure and a
potential food crisis in the country of 25 million.
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday that Washington
had offered COVID-19 vaccines to China and North Korea, but "got
North Korea reported 167,650 new patients suffering from
fever on Monday and one more death. More than 2.33 million of
the 2.81 million cumulative cases reported since late April had
recovered as of Sunday evening, the North's state news agency
KCNA said. The official death toll stands at 68.
While staying silent on the offer for help, North Korea has
boasted of a "favorable turn" in the country's virus situation.
"The crisis and responsibility awareness is further enhanced
in every region, sector, workplace and post across the country
to maintain the favorable turn in the epidemic prevention work
and all inroads of the epidemic are checked through the strict
execution of regional and unit lockdown and blockade measures,"
the KCNA said.
Such COVID-19 restrictions may be playing a role in North
Korea's lack of response, a senior U.S. administration official
Apparently deprived of testing supplies, North Korea has not
confirmed the total number of people testing positive for the
coronavirus. Instead, health authorities report the number with
fever symptoms, making it difficult to assess the scale of the
COVID wave, experts have said.
Authorities have distributed food and medicine across the
country, with military medics deployed to help distribute drugs
and conduct exams.
KCNA said pharmaceutical factories "are speeding up the
production," but did not elaborate which medicines were being