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Saturday, June 25, 2022

North Korea moves to soften sanctions amid doubts over COVID count

Seoul, South Korea ( Associated Press) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other top officials discussed revising tougher anti-epidemic sanctions during a meeting on Sunday, state media reported, as they made widely disputed claims Kept that the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak is slowing.

Discussions at a meeting of the North’s Politburo suggest it will soon ease a set of harsh restrictions imposed following the entry of Omicron’s outbreak this month from concerns about its food and economic conditions.

The official Korean Central News Agency said that during the meeting, Kim and other bureau members “positively assessed the control and improvement of the pandemic situation across the country.”

KCNA said the bureau “examined the issue of coordinating and implementing anti-epidemic regulations and guidelines effectively and quickly in view of the current stable anti-epidemic situation.”

On Sunday, North Korea reported 89,500 new patients with fever symptoms, bringing the country’s total to 3.4 million. It did not say whether there were additional deaths. The country’s death toll stood at 69 on Friday, with a fatality rate of 0.002%, an extremely low count that no other country, including advanced economies, has reported in the fight against COVID-19.

Many outside experts say North Korea was apparently lowering its death rate to prevent any political damage to Kim at home. He says North Korea should have suffered many more deaths because its 26 million people are largely unimmunized against COVID-19 and it lacks the ability to treat patients with serious conditions. Others suspect that North Korea may have exaggerated its earlier fever cases to try to tighten internal controls of its population.

Since its admission of the Omicron outbreak on May 12, North Korea has been declaring daily only the number of patients with symptoms of fever but not those with COVID-19, apparently a large number of tests to confirm coronavirus cases. Due to lack of kit.

But many outside health experts attribute the majority of fever cases to COVID-19, saying North Korean officials would know how to differentiate symptoms from fevers caused by other prevalent infectious diseases.

The outbreak has forced North Korea to impose a nationwide lockdown, isolate all work and residential units from each other, and impose restrictions on region-by-field movements. The country still allows major agricultural, construction and other industrial activities, but tighter restrictions have raised concerns about its food insecurity and a fragile economy already badly hit by border closures due to the pandemic .

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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