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North Korea says new fever cases were flu, not Covid – Asia Pacific News News – Report by AFR

North Korea said on Friday that the fever cases detected earlier this week were influenza and not a resurgence of Covid-19 as initially suspected.

The state media’s announcement came a day after authorities said they had locked down parts of Ryanggang province – which borders China – after finding four new “fever” cases there.

In case reports, North Korea speaks more of “fever patients” than “Covid patients”, apparently due to a lack of testing capacities.

The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Thursday that the new cases “are suspected of being infected with the vicious epidemic” – just two weeks after the country declared victory over Covid-19.

But on Friday it said it was not actually a matter of Covid infections and the lockdown in the area had been lifted.

“All fever cases … in Ryanggang province were those with influenza,” KCNA said, citing data from the state Epidemic Prevention Headquarters.

“The fever cases recovered with normal temperature.”

The isolated nation, which has maintained a rigid blockade since the pandemic began, confirmed an omicron outbreak in the capital Pyongyang in May.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un – who also fell ill during the outbreak – declared victory over the virus earlier this month and ordered the country’s “maximum emergency epidemic prevention system” to be lifted as officially reported cases dropped to zero.

North Korea has recorded nearly 4.8 million “fever” cases and just 74 deaths, with an official fatality rate of 0.002 percent, according to state media.

Experts and the World Health Organization have long questioned Pyongyang’s Covid statistics and its claims of having brought the outbreak under control.

North Korea has one of the world’s worst healthcare systems, with poorly equipped hospitals, few intensive care units and no medicines to treat Covid, experts say.

It has blamed South Korea for the outbreak and warned of “retaliation”.

#North #Korea #fever #cases #flu #Covid

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