North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ordered the military to regulate and stabilize drug distribution in the capital, Pyongyang, because the nation appears to be confessing to more than a million Covid-19 cases.
The Hermit Kingdom, which closed its borders during the 2020 pandemic, admitted its first Covid case on 12.
More than 1.2 million North Koreans have been ill since Sunday due to “fever” – the euphemism used by Pyongyang for Covid – the state-controlled newspaper said. Rodong Sinmun on Monday.
Of all people infected since the end of April, more than 648,630 have recovered and at least 564,860 are under medical treatment.
The government says the death toll is 50.
At an extraordinary Politburo meeting chaired by Sunday, Kim criticized the “irresponsible” stance of the cabinet and medical officials and ordered the deployment of a “powerful force” by the Army Medical Corps to “immediately stabilize drug supplies” in the capital. .
The North Korean leader visited pharmacies near the Taedong River in the capital to check the supply and sale of drugs.
After his visit, Mr Kim said pharmacies were not well equipped to perform their functions smoothly and were suffering from a lack of medicines.
The state previously accused people of “drug negligence” in “lack of knowledge and understanding of the underlying Omicron virus variant of the virus and its proper treatment methods.”
The Nordic Ministry of Health has begun drawing up “treatment guidelines, methods and tactics” to control the virus, state media said.
Mr Kim introduced a nationwide lock-up last Thursday to combat the “explosive” spread of the highly contagious variant of Omicron coronavirus.
He wore a mask in public for the first time on Saturday and said that “the spread of coronavirus is very serious in the world and is a big uproar for our country.”
He asked his administration to study the quarantine policies of other countries, especially China, which follows one of Covid’s strictest directives as part of its “zero tolerance” policy.
Officials were asked to “actively monitor” their accounts, suggesting that Pyongyang could duplicate Beijing’s strategy to curb the spread of the virus.
The state, which has one of the worst health care systems in the world, has rejected vaccines offered by the Covax distribution program. It also does not have access to the number of sets needed to perform extensive tests.
South Korea, meanwhile, has offered to provide drugs, vaccines, test kits, as well as technical cooperation.
The Ministry of Southern Reunification said on Monday that it had offered working-level talks with the North over the Covid pandemic.