For the first time in nearly 10 days, daily cases of “fever” in North Korea have fallen below 200,000, state media report, calling it a “positive trend”.
The wave of COVID-19, declared on May 12, has fueled concerns about a lack of vaccines, insufficient medical infrastructure and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million people.
It has refused most outside aid, kept its borders closed and does not allow any independent confirmation of official data.
Seemingly lacking testing supplies, North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Instead, health authorities report the number of fever symptoms, making it difficult to gauge the magnitude of the COVID-19 wave.
More than 186,090 additional people showed symptoms of fever and another died, the official KCNA news agency reported on Sunday.
More than two million of the 2.6 million cumulative cases have recovered, KCNA said. The official death toll stands at 67.
“The current situation of epidemic spread in DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) shows a positive trend from rapid growth at the beginning to decline after being stably controlled and managed, recording increased daily numbers healings across the country,” KCNA said.
Last year, North Korea said it had developed its own polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment to perform coronavirus tests.
The KNCA said the country is “accelerating the development of new test reagent and antibody test reagent for early epidemic detection.”
Authorities have been distributing food and medicine across the country, with military doctors deployed to help distribute medicine and conduct examinations.
More than a million healthcare workers, including medical students and teachers, were mobilized to perform health checks “to completely block and eradicate the source of the spread”, the report adds.
Australian Associated Press