North Korea reports no new deaths for second day amid 'stable' Covid-19 trend

Railway station staff disinfecting Pyongyang station premises against Covid-19 on May 17, 2022. PHOTO: AFP/KCNA VIA KNS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - North Korea reported no new deaths among fever patients for a second consecutive day, state media KCNA said on Wednesday (May 25), a day after it said the country's first confirmed coronavirus outbreak was being stably managed.

The Covid-19 outbreak, which the isolated country confirmed about two weeks ago, has stoked concerns about a lack of vaccines and medical supplies, while experts said a nationwide lockdown could deepen a food crisis in the country of 25 million.

Pyongyang said on Tuesday its anti-virus campaign was having "successes" in curbing and controlling the outbreak and "maintaining the clearly stable situation."

Nearly 116,000 more people showed fever symptoms as of Tuesday evening, some 18,000 fewer than a day before and the fourth straight day that the daily tally held below 200,000, KCNA said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters. No new deaths were reported, it said.

The latest numbers took the total number of fever patients since April to 3,064,880, with a death toll of 68.

Apparently deprived of testing supplies, North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people testing positive for the coronavirus, instead, reporting the number with fever symptoms.

With no national vaccination campaign and limited testing capability, experts have said the daily figures released by state media could be under-reported, and it may be difficult to assess the scale of the Covid-19 wave.

In a separate dispatch, KCNA said the country went out for "an all-out scientific and lightning anti-epidemic campaign", in which ruling Workers' Party officials strive to tackle problems associated with treating fever, producing and supplying medicines and ensuring the people's livelihoods.

"Gaining momentum is the work to consolidate the anti-epidemic foundations of the country and apply the most excellent and suitable treatment tactics and methods across the country," KCNA said, without elaborating.

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