North Korea reports zero Covid-19 cases after ‘great crisis’: WHO

Seoul, Jul 13 (EFE).- North Korea has still not reported a single Covid-19 case to the World Health Organization (WHO) despite admitting to a “great crisis” related to the pandemic in June, according to the latest regional report of the agency released on Tuesday.

The WHO document, which contains data from between June 25 and July 1, says that North Korea has not reported any infection during that period.

This means that the Asian country has still not officially reported a single Covid-19 case in its territory since the pandemic began.

According to WHO’s report, 718 people, of which 127 had flu-like symptoms or respiratory infections, underwent RT-PCR tests for the virus that all yielded negative results.

North Korea says it has tested a total of 32,512 people since the start of the pandemic. The country has a population of over 25 million.

The data provided to the WHO comes after the country’s state media reported on a June 30 meeting of the leadership of the country’s regime in which North Korean leader Kim Jong-un blamed senior officials for a “great crisis” due to lapses in implementing national measures “required by the prolonged state emergency epidemic prevention campaign associated with the worldwide health crisis.”

However, the media did not elaborate on the incident or the Covid-19 situation in the country.

The fact that the North Korean media have not subsequently reported on any health restrictions, added to the data provided by the WHO, leads some experts to believe that the “crisis” may have to do with managing the grain reserves controlled by the North Korean army.

In June, Kim admitted that the country was facing food shortages, caused mainly by tightening border controls to prevent the entry of the virus, and the consequent drop in imports.

The hermetic country, which has set up disinfection facilities to treat products it imports from China, may be having to free up those grain reserves, which are normally earmarked for the people in times of scarcity. EFE


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