The state media of the hermetic Asian country reported an outbreak of infections in the southwest of the country. This coincides with a time when the wave of coronavirus is still in force and more than 23,000 people were registered for “suspicious fevers”. The health situation is delicate in a territory that suffers from Western sanctions.
This Friday, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un and other officials have prepared aid packages for 800 families who are victims of an unidentified intestinal epidemic.
As of this week, North Korea revealed that it is facing an “acute enteric epidemic” caused by a disease that they did not report, but that concerns the gastrointestinal tract.
The KCNA explained that the assistance prepared by the Government includes “medicines, food and daily necessities” to alleviate the condition. These families are based in Haeju City and Kangryong County, in the southwest of the country.
The state media detailed that Kim Jong-Un urged his collaborators to “do their duty at work to alleviate the misfortune and suffering of the people as soon as possible.”
On Wednesday, the KCNA itself had reported that the head of state gave the order to quarantine all suspected cases to prevent the spread, at least until the disease is clarified.
Meanwhile, South Korea is conducting an investigation to monitor the origin of the outbreak, which could be cholera or typhoid fever, according to an official from the South Korean Unification Ministry, an entity that is involved in inter-Korean affairs.
The proliferation of enteric diseases is a common problem in North Korea, since there are several regions that do not have an adequate water sanitation system.
This sudden outbreak raised concerns in the southern province of Hwanghae, a national agricultural stronghold, where they fear it will increase a growing food shortage already damaged by the wave of coronavirus.
The cases of Covid-19 remain after weeks since the first infections and extends the health alarm. The last report notified that more than 23,000 civilians have “suspicious fever”, the method they use to measure the sick, given their limited testing capacity.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis at the end of April, more than 4.58 million citizens have fallen ill. However, official figures show that 99% recovered, only 73 died and the number of cases decreases.
These data are not fully validated by the World Health Organization, which estimates a real concealment of the situation by Pyongyang. The international entity does not trust that the mortality rate is so low if the accumulation of positive cases is so high and only 46,000 have received treatment.
From the intelligence services of Seoul they inferred that it is probable that the cases of fever are not linked to the coronavirus but to other diseases, such as measles or different typhoid conditions.
The health crisis in North Korea is deepened by a framework where the food emergency escalates progressively, while the blockade and Western sanctions restrict economic capacities.
With EFE and Reuters
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