SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has condemned his country’s response to the first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak as immature, accusing government officials of inadequacy and inertia due to fever cases, state media reported Wednesday.
North Korea has reported 232,880 more deaths and six more deaths, including symptoms of fever, since the outbreak of Kovid last week. It was not immediately clear how many people tested positive for COVID-19.
Presiding over a Politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party on Tuesday, Kim said “the immaturity of state power in tackling the crisis” has increased “complexity and hardship” in the fight against the epidemic, according to KCNA.
Since the first recognition of the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been 1.72 million patients with fever in the North, of whom 62 died by Tuesday evening.
However, the North added that the country’s virus situation was taking a “favorable turn”, adding that the party meeting had discussed “maintaining good opportunities on the overall epidemic prevention front”.
The report did not elaborate on why the North made such a positive assessment. The country has not launched a comprehensive vaccine and has limited testing capacity, with many experts concerned that it could be difficult to assess how widespread and rapid the disease is spreading.
According to KCNA, North Korea is pushing for better handling, collection and transportation of samples from people with fever while establishing additional quarantine facilities.
KCNA also said that health officials have developed a COVID-19 treatment guideline aimed at preventing drug overdose and other problems.
Officials and researchers have “intensified efforts to develop and produce effective drugs for the treatment of malignant virus infections and to establish more reasonable diagnostic and treatment modalities” but KCNA did not elaborate on which drugs were involved.
In the face of an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak, North Korea has mobilized its armed forces for a 24-hour drug supply system, including 3,000 response medical personnel, including 500 response groups to confirm and treat infected patients, state media reported.
State television shows a large number of troops gathered in a square to support anti-virus work.
A spokesman for the UN human rights office said on Tuesday that steps taken by Pyongyang to fight COVID-19 could have “devastating” consequences for human rights in the country, as restrictions on the virus could prevent people from getting enough food and meeting others. Basic needs.
South Korea has offered to send medical supplies to the north, including technical assistance, including vaccines, masks and test kits, but Pyongyang has not yet responded. (Reporting by Su-Hyang Choi and Josh Smith; Editing by Chris Rees, Jonathan Otis and Gary Doyle)