Topline

North Korea on Wednesday claimed its Covid-19 outbreak was taking a “favorable turn” while still reporting more than 200,000 new suspected cases as the World Health Organization expressed concerns about the lack of proper data from the country and the risk of unchecked spread.

Key Facts

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On Wednesday, North Korea reported 232,880 new cases of “fever” and six additional deaths, according to the state-controlled Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

The country has reported 62 deaths in total and 1.72 million suspected cases, of which authorities claim more than 1 million have recovered.

State media is only reporting the number of cases with fever—one of many symptoms of Covid—as North Korea is believed to lack adequate testing supplies, indicating that it may be missing out on cases that are asymptomatic or mild.

In a Politburo meeting on Tuesday, leader Kim Jong Un once again took aim at his government officials for mishandling the outbreak by pointing out the “immaturity” in the state’s capacity for dealing with the crisis.

Despite this, officials claimed the health crisis was taking a “favorable turn,” pointing to the “justness, efficiency, and scientific accuracy” of the prevention policy that has now been put into effect.

In a separate reportstate media claimed that North Korean officials have stepped up work to “massively develop and produce drugs effective in the treatment of the malignant virus infection,” without offering any details about the drugs in question.