North Korea reports another outbreak


North Korea reported an outbreak of an unspecified intestinal disease on Thursday, potentially adding to the strain in the isolated country’s health care system, which is already battling a wave of infections. unprecedented COVID-19 wave.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent medicine to the western port city of Haeju on Wednesday to help patients suffering from “acute intestinal epidemic” as soon as possible, according to North Korean state media KCNA.

It does not report the number of people affected, or state what the disease is, but enteric refers to the gastrointestinal tract.

“(Kim) emphasized the need to contain the epidemic as soon as possible by taking strict measures to isolate suspected cases in order to radically limit its spread, confirming the cases synthesized through epidemiological examination and scientific tests,” KCNA said.

The reported outbreak occurred as the North tackled its first outbreak of COVID-19 infections. It declared a state of emergency last month, amid concerns about a shortage of vaccines and medical supplies.

North Korea said it added 26,010 people with fever symptoms on Thursday, bringing the total number of fever patients recorded nationwide since the end of April at nearly 4.56 million. The death toll linked to the outbreak is 73.

Pyongyang has daily published the number of fever patients, not COVID patients, apparently lacking test kits. Experts also suspect underreporting in figures published through government-controlled media.

North Korea said the COVID wave had shown signs of abating, but the World Health Organization cast doubt on Pyongyang’s claims earlier this month and said the situation was getting worse.

(Reporting by Soo-hyang Choi; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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