North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, has directed the military to stabilise the distribution of COVID-19 medicine in Pyongyang, the Capital, in the fight against the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, according to state media.
The North’s first acknowledgement of an “explosive” outbreak came last week, with experts warning that it could devastate a country with limited medical supplies and no vaccine program.
Kim told an emergency politburo meeting on Sunday, before visiting pharmacies along the capital’s Taedong River, that drugs acquired by the state were not reaching people swiftly or precisely.
He also directed the immediate deployment of “powerful forces” from the army’s medical corps to “stabilize the supply of medicines in Pyongyang City.”
Despite the fact that authorities had ordered the distribution of national reserves of medicine, pharmacies were not well-equipped to carry out their duties smoothly, Kim added, according to the agency.
In the absence of a national vaccination campaign and COVID treatment, state media has encouraged patients to use pain relievers and antibiotics, as well as unproven home remedies like gargling salt water or drinking lonicera japonica tea or willow leaf tea.
Seoul’s unification ministry, which is in charge of cross-border relations, said it had proposed working-level talks to provide medical supplies such as vaccines, masks, and test kits, as well as technical cooperation, but that the North had not responded.
The offer came after South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said he would go to any length to assist the North in combating the outbreak, promising to give COVID-19 vaccinations and other medical assistance.
Yoon stated that he would send humanitarian aid regardless of political considerations, while also expressing concern about the North’s recent missile launches and indications of preparations for its first nuclear test since 2017.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the virus could spread quickly in North Korea due to a lack of vaccination programs, but it had yet to receive direct information about the outbreak from local authorities.
The 194 members of the organization, including North Korea, are required to report a public health emergency within 24 hours of a COVID outbreak, though there are no penalties for noncompliance.
https://www.tvcnews.tv/2022/05/mcdonalds-to-exit-russia-amid-ukraine-invasion/By Sunday, North Korea’s fever toll stood at 1,213,550, with 50 deaths, after KCNA reported 392,920 new cases of fever and eight new deaths. It was not specified how many suspected infections tested positive for COVID-19.
The North has blamed many of the deaths on people who were “careless with drugs” due to a lack of knowledge about the Omicron variant of coronavirus and how to treat it.