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North Korea declares victory against pandemic, claiming Covid ‘miracle’

2022 08 11T003102Z 1358706984 RC2XTV9TK6OS RTRMADP 3 HEALTH CORONAVIRUS NORTHKOREA

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory in the fight against the novel coronavirus and ordered a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, state media said Thursday.

North Korea has not disclosed how many confirmed cases of the virus it has found, but as of July 29, it has reported no new suspected cases where international aid agencies say there are limited testing capabilities.

While lifting maximum anti-pandemic measures, Kim said North Korea must maintain a “steel-tough anti-epidemic barrier and intensify anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis,” according to a state news agency report. KCN.

Analysts said that while the authoritarian North has used the pandemic to tighten social controls, its declaration of victory could be a prelude to the recovery of trade hampered by border closures and other restrictions.

Observers have also said it is paving the way for the north to conduct a nuclear weapons test for the first time since 2017.

North Korea’s official death rate of 74 people is an “unprecedented miracle” compared to other countries, KCNA reported, citing another official.

Instead of confirmed cases, North Korea reported the number of people with fever symptoms. Those daily cases peaked at more than 392,920 on May 15, prompting health experts to warn of an inevitable crisis.

The World Health Organization has expressed doubts about North Korea’s claims, saying last month it believed the situation was getting worse, not better, in the absence of independent data.

Pyongyang’s declaration of victory comes despite rolling out no known vaccine program. Instead, the country says it relied on lockdowns, homegrown drugs and what Kim called the “profitable Korean-style socialist system.”

The north has said it was conducting intensive medical checkups across the country, with daily PCR tests on water collected in border areas as measures.

It also said it has developed new methods to better detect the virus and its variants, as well as other infectious diseases, such as monkey pox.

He ordered the lifting of maximum anti-pandemic measures, but said North Korea must maintain a “steel-tough anti-epidemic barrier and intensify anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis.”

Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, said the North Korean leader himself was experiencing fever symptoms and accused South Korea flyers of triggering the outbreak, KCNA reported.

“Although he was seriously ill and had a high fever, he couldn’t lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to care for until the end in the face of the anti-epidemic war,” she said in a speech praising him. his efforts.

(REUTERS)

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