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North Korea confirms 21 deaths amid COVID-19 outbreak

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Abimbola Aderinola Dorcas

North Korea, on Friday, reported 21 new death cases and 174,440 persons showing symptoms of fever as the country tries to reduce the spread of COVID-19 among its unvaccinated population.

Following the detection of the highly contagious Omicron variant in the capital Pyongyang, the country’s leader Kim Jong Un had described the outbreak as a “great turmoil”, blaming it on the medical incompetence and suggested that lessons be learnt from this occurrence

According to state news agency KCNA, no fewer than 280,810 people were in quarantine and 27 had died since a fever of unidentified origins started to be reported in the country in late April.

On Thursday, North Korea announced its first ever death from coronavirus since the start of the pandemic in 2019. In response, Kim Jong Un ordered a strict national lockdown.

Though authorities are yet to disclose the cause of the outbreak, there are strong feelers that the development may take a huge toll of th country has the world’s most fragile public health systems and a largely unvaccinated population.

CNN also reported that North Korea’s borders have been tightly sealed since January 2020 to prevent a likely occurrence of the pandemic. The country is also said to have failed to import any vaccines, fuelling more concerns about how it would handle the recent COVID-19 outbreak.

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