NKorea reports 6 deaths after admitting Covid-19 outbreak

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SEOUL: Six people have died and 350,000 have been treated for a fever that has spread “explosively” across North Korea, state media said, a day after acknowledging a Covid-19 outbreak for first time.

North Korea likely doesn’t have sufficient tests and other medical equipment and said it didn’t know cause of mass fevers. But a big Covid-19 outbreak could be devastating in a country with a broken health care system and an unvaccinated, malnourished population.

North’s official Korean Central News Agency said of 350,000 people who developed fevers since late April, 162,200 have recovered. It said 18,000 people were newly found with fever symptoms alone and 187,800 people are being isolated for treatment.

One of the six people who died was confirmed infected with omicron variant, KCNA said, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many of total illnesses were Covid-19.

North Korea imposed a nationwide lockdown after acknowledging its first cases. Those reports said tests from an unspecified number of people came back positive for omicron variant.–Agencies