North Korea may already have over a million people infected with COVID?

In Pyongyang, there is a demonstrative disinfection and cleaning of premises, but the country is catastrophically short of medicines. In North Korea, which only a few days ago admitted an outbreak of coronavirus on its territory, there may already be one million infected people. The North Korean authorities have called out the army in an attempt to control the spread of the coronavirus in a country that has not been vaccinated.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized health officials and ordered subordinates to stop the spread of the virus, while ordering the army to help deliver medicine. State media report that more than a million citizens have been infected with “the flu,” as they prefer to call the coronavirus. Approximately 50 people have died, but it is unknown how many people have been infected specifically with COVID-19. Because there are few laboratories in North Korea, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 is also small. At the same time, North Korea, which is still under national lockdown, may be particularly vulnerable to infection because it has not been vaccinated and its health care system is in a dire state.

According to North Korea’s state-run media (there are no others), Kim Jong-un called an emergency meeting of the Politburo this past weekend, during which he accused health officials of failing to provide necessary medical supplies. He also ordered the involvement of military doctors to “immediately stabilize medicine supplies in Pyongyang. The first cases of COVID infection in the country were announced last week, although experts believe the virus has been present there for some time. The international community, for its part, offered North Korea millions of doses of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made vaccines last year, but Pyongyang claimed it had the situation under control, having closed all borders since January 2020.

We explain quickly, simply, and clearly what happened, why it matters, and what happens next. Episodes End of story Podcast advertising Comment by BBC correspondent in Seoul, Jean Mackenzie. It seems that North Korea is now where the world was in early 2020. The coronavirus is spreading rapidly among a population that has not been vaccinated, has not developed immunity, and where treatment options for the disease are very limited. The difference, however, is that North Korea had time to prepare, but did very little. Instead, all efforts were focused on preventing the virus from entering the country. The country refused the vaccines offered, saying it did not need them. Now they are needed, but the time may have passed. Experts say the current priority should not be vaccines, but antiviral drugs that could help people who are already sick. But for that to happen, North Korea must accept help, and it has not asked for it. South Korea’s offer to provide vaccines has gone unanswered. And overall, it is highly unlikely that Pyongyang would accept South Korean aid. It would be much more acceptable to them if the offer came from an international organization like the UN, even if it meant repackaging and indirectly diverting the same South Korean supplies. North Korea will not risk accepting aid and medicine because it would mean allowing foreigners into the country to distribute it and administer vaccinations. However, the fact that it is reporting deaths and infections on a daily basis indicates that it needs help and is waiting for it.

According to Professor Hazel Smith, Professor of East Asian and African Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, in the past, strict quarantines were a key element of the strategy to combat epidemics such as atypical pneumonia or Ebola in North Korea. But after the virus reached North Korea, it turned out that they had no organizational infrastructure and lacked the most basic things – disinfectants, electricity, and even clean water. “After the epidemic finally broke out, they began to have difficulty in controlling the situation and treating the sick,” Professor Smith said in an interview with the BBC. North Korea borders South Korea and China, both of which have long struggled with coronavirus outbreaks. And China has now instituted lockdowns in major cities to contain the Omicron variant. South Korea has already offered to send North Korea all necessary assistance, including vaccines, medical personnel, and medical equipment, if Pyongyang requests it. The North Korean leader himself called the rapidly spreading virus a “great disaster” on Saturday. “The spread of the epidemic is the biggest shock to hit our country since its founding,” he said. In addition to the direct threat to people’s health, the pandemic may cause another food crisis in the country. North Korea experienced famine in the 1990s, and according to the World Food Program, 11 out of 25 million people are chronically malnourished. Now, when farmers are unable to work the fields because of illness, analysts say the consequences can be catastrophic.

2015 – 2023 ©. All rights reserved.