Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - North Korea reports 15 more deaths from ‘fever’ amid Covid-19 outbreak



North Korea reports 15 more deaths from ‘fever’ amid Covid-19 outbreak

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
North Korea has confirmed that the coronavirus' highly contagious Omicron variant has penetrated its rigid, two-year blockage. AFP

North Korea reports 15 more deaths from ‘fever’ amid Covid-19 outbreak

North Korea on Sunday reported 15 additional deaths from “fever” after the country recently announced its first-ever cases of Covid-19 and ordered nationwide lockdowns.

State media KCNA said a total of 42 people had died, with 820,620 cases and at least 324,550 under medical treatment.

Leader Kim Jong Un has said the outbreak has caused “great upheaval” in North Korea.

KCNA reported that “all provinces, cities and counties of the country have been totally locked down and working units, production units and residential units closed from each other.”

Despite activating its “maximum emergency quarantine system” to slow the spread of disease through its unvaccinated population, North Korea is now reporting large numbers of new cases daily.

North Korea confirmed Thursday that the highly contagious Omicron variant had been detected in the capital Pyongyang, with Kim ordering nationwide lockdowns.

It was the government’s first official admission of Covid cases and marked the failure of a two-year coronavirus blockade maintained since the start of the pandemic.

“The spread of malignant disease comes to be a great upheaval in our country since the founding of the DPRK,” Kim said Saturday, referring to North Korea by its official name.

North Korea has a crumbling health system – one of the worst in the world – and no Covid vaccines, antiviral treatment drugs or mass testing capacity.

It has previously turned down offers of Covid vaccines from China and the World Health Organization’s Covax scheme, but both Beijing and Seoul have issued fresh offers of aid and vaccines.

The KCNA report did not specify whether the new cases and deaths had tested positive for Covid-19, but experts say the country will be struggling to test and diagnose on this scale.

The United States and South Korea have warned that Kim is preparing to conduct another nuclear test – which would be the regime’s seventh – and that it could come any day.

Analysts have warned Kim could speed up his nuclear test plans in a bid to distract North Korea’s population from a disastrous Covid-19 outbreak.

MOST VIEWED

  • Companies listed on CSX receive 50% deduction on income tax

    Tax incentives are granted to companies that have listed their shares or issued debt securities on the Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX), whether they are small to medium-sized enterprises or large companies. The nine stock listed companies on the CSX – with seven listed on the Main

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Cambodia mourns over UK’s Queen Elizabeth II

    Cambodia has joined other nations around the world to mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, with King Norodom Sihanomi, Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin extending their condolences in separate letters. In his letter to the late Queen’s son –

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Railway project studies proceed

    The transport ministry is exploring options to expedite preliminary studies on key public railway infrastructure projects, especially the conversion of the Northern Railway Line that links to Thailand into high-speed rail. Railway freight and passenger transportation has been pinpointed as a major potential engine of