North Korea reports suspected coronavirus on border with China

The area where the suspected cases were found was “immediately placed under lockdown,” state news agency KCNA reported on Tuesday.

The KCNA, citing the State Headquarters for the Prevention of Emergency Epidemics of the country, reported that on August 23, four cases of fever with suspected infection with a malignant epidemic occurred in a branch in Ryangan Province.

North Korea has limited testing capacity and is referring to suspected cases of Covid as “fever cases”.

He acknowledged his first confirmed cases of Covid-19 in May when he reported what he called an “explosive” outbreak and a “major national emergency.”

Since then, 4.77 million suspicious cases have been reported, but no new cases have been reported since July 29, and on August 11, leader Kim Jong-un declared victory over the virus.

However, many experts, including representatives of the World Health Organization, questioned his claims.

One source of skepticism is the death rate, which to many experts seems unusually low, especially given that the vast majority of the population is considered unvaccinated. The country of 25 million has officially reported 74 deaths, with the KCNA previously linking this to what it called an “unprecedented miracle.”

North Korea has also attributed its claimed successes to the use of lockdowns, intensive medical checks, and what Kim called “a lucrative Korean-style socialist system.”

He also welcomed the use of daily PCR tests on water collected from border areas and said he had developed new methods to detect the virus and other diseases, including monkeypox, Reuters reported.

Reporting on the latest suspicious cases, the KCNA emphasized that “there have been no persons infected with the epidemic of malignant neoplasms since the eradication of the spread of the malignant virus in the country.”

It says anti-epidemic teams have been mobilized to investigate cases of the latest “fever outbreak”.

The lack of independent data in the country means that CNN cannot verify Pyongyang’s claims.

However, recent trade data showed that despite a claimed victory, the country imported Covid prevention and control supplies from China in July, including more than a million face masks and 15,000 pairs of rubber gloves.

Some analysts claim that North Korea has used the pandemic as an excuse to tighten social controls; others have suggested that his claim of victory over the virus could pave the way for him to conduct his first nuclear weapons test since 2017.

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