North Korea is reporting the first Covid-19 death

North Korea is reporting the first Covid-19 death

May 16, 2022: -At least one person has been confirmed to have Covid-19 has died in North Korea. Thousands have shown feverish symptoms, state media said on Friday, offering hints at the potentially dire scale of the country’s first confirmed pandemic outbreak.

The data shows an unprecedented admission of an “explosive” outbreak in the country that had last reported no confirmed cases since the pandemic. It could mark the isolated regime’s grave public health, economic, and political crisis.

Experts have said that given the limited testing capabilities of North Korea, the numbers released so far represent a small fraction of the infections and could lead to thousands of deaths in one of only two countries worldwide without a Covid-19 vaccination campaign.

Nearly 187,800 people are being treated in isolation after a fever of unidentified origin has “explosively spread nationwide” since April, the official KCNA news agency reported.

On Thursday, roughly 350,000 people showed fever, which includes 18,000 who reported such symptoms, KCNA said. Nearly 162,200 have been treated, but it did not specify the amount tested positive for Covid-19.

Almost six people who showed feverish symptoms have died, with one of those cases confirmed to contracted the Omicron variant of the virus, KCNA said.

Harvard Medical School’s Kee Park, working on health care projects in North Korea, said the country has tested 1,400 people every week, which is insufficient to survey 350,000 people with symptoms.

“More worrisome is the number of symptomatic people,” he said. “Using a conservative case fatality rate of 1% and assumes the increase is due to an Omicron variant of Covid-19, North Korea expects 3,500 deaths from this outbreak,” he further said.

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North Korea is reporting the first Covid-19 death