Seoul, May 27 (EFE).- North Korea is testing specimens collected from rivers and lakes for coronavirus, disinfecting sewage and garbage, and even monitoring the movement of wild animals that may be carriers, state media reported Friday.
A “scrupulous operation is underway to cope with the ever-changing anti-epidemic situation” in the country, state-run news agency KCNA reported.
The operation follows the detection of a Covid-19 outbreak on May 12.
It was the first time North Korea, which has remained completely cut off from the world since 2020 due to the pandemic, acknowledged an outbreak in its territory.
The plan “further tightens the lockdown of the capital city and takes stronger measures for the closure of all regions and units,” KCNA said.
Priority is being given “to the test of specimens collected in rivers and lakes” and ensuring that “the disinfection facilities at major regions and places are repaired, readjusted, maintained, and managed properly.”
“Hundreds of thousands of cubic meters of sewage and thousands of tons of garbage” were also being disinfected and examined daily, said the news agency.
KCNA said that “anti-epidemic posts” have been set up at 1,840 points “to intensify disinfection of passers-by and vehicles,” suspecting that wild animals are “under close surveillance” at over 1,830 places.
On Friday, North Korean authorities reported some 100,460 new cases of people with “fever,” a term used by the regime for suspected cases, due to its lack of testing capacity.
More than 3.27 million such cases have already been detected since April end.
Of these, 3.03 million have already recovered, some 233,090 are still undergoing treatment, and 69 have died.
The figures point to an astonishingly rapid spread of Covid-19 and an unusually-low fatality rate in a country that does not have vaccines.
However, South Korean intelligence services believe that many of these suspected cases could be measles or typhoid fever.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called on the regime to share data and raised concerns about the possible impact of Covid-19 on a population that suffers from other underlying health problems.
Experts believe North Korea, which has not administered a single vaccine, is unwilling to accept vaccine donations. EFE