Increasing cases of Covid-19 in North Korea becoming a concern for WHO

“In the few weeks, Covid-19 cases have risen in four out of the six WHO regions. Due to testing and sequencing reduction in many countries, it is increasingly becoming difficult to know where the virus is originating, and how it’s mutating,” said the director-general, WHO. He also expressed his concerns over the outbreak of Covid-19 in North Korea. On Wednesday, the country reported 232,880 new cases of fever and six related deaths amongst the unvaccinated population. The virus continues to spread in North Korea, with more than 1.7 million suspected cases since April.

“WHO is deeply concerned at the risk of further spread of Covid-19 in the country particularly because the unvaccinated population and the underlying medical conditions putting them at risk of severe disease and death,” said Tedros, public health researcher at WHO, at a media briefing in Geneva.

The United Nation’s health agency has requested the country to share data and information on the Covid-19 outbreak. The country is receiving technical support and supplies, including essential medicines, diagnostic tests, and vaccines presently.

Meanwhile, WHO has also criticized China’s zero Covid policy as unsustainable. As per the WHO, Omicron is a highly infectious virus and it cannot be contained by implementing such a stringent policy.

“We know the virus better and we have better tools, including vaccines, that is why the handling of the virus should actually be different from what we used to do at the start of the pandemic,” Tedros added, saying that the virus had changed drastically since it was first detected in Wuhan in 2019.

Amidst all this, North Korean officials continued to express confidence that the country will overcome the crisis without any aid from the global community. Apparently, there have been rumors that North Korea is secretively importing emergency supplies from China although the news has not been confirmed yet.

Due to the mismanagement of pandemic by officials, the country’s economy is also witnessing a massive disruption, with US-led sanctions over Kim’s nuclear weapons and missiles development adding fuel to the fire.

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