Leader Kim Jong-un called for an immediate mobilization of the military to solve problems related to Pyongyang’s “medicine reserves”.
North Korea’s official news agency reported that Kim had ordered the military committee to “immediately work to stabilize medicine supplies in the city of Pyongyang”.
And Kim considered during an emergency meeting of the Politburo on Sunday, that “the orders have not been implemented properly so far, and that medicines have not been provided in the necessary form for pharmacies,” according to what the agency quoted him as saying.
He added that pharmacies did not comply with the order to open their doors 24 hours a day.
“Government and Public Health Service officials in charge of (drugs) supplies have not rolled up their sleeves or taken all measures for the current crisis, content with talking about the spirit of dedication to serving the people,” Kim said.
The official news agency stated that the total number of fever cases in the country amounted to 1,213,550 cases, in addition to fifty deaths, noting that at least 564,860 people are undergoing treatment.
Kim stressed earlier that the outbreak was causing “great turmoil” in the country.
The agency stated that “all provinces, cities and provinces across the country have imposed a complete closure.”
Although it has activated the “Maximum Emergency Epidemic Prevention System” to slow the spread of the virus among unvaccinated citizens, North Korea records a large number of infections daily.
On Friday alone, “more than 174,440 people contracted a fever, of whom at least 81,430 recovered and 21 died nationwide,” the official agency said.
On Thursday, the authorities confirmed the detection of the highly contagious mutant Omicron in Pyongyang, and Kim ordered a nationwide lockdown.
It was the first official confirmation of Covid cases, and demonstrated the failure of the two-year closure measures and their economic cost.
The health system in North Korea, which is considered one of the worst in the world (ranked 193 out of 195 according to an investigation conducted by Johns Hopkins University in the United States), lacks the necessary medicines and equipment, according to experts.
In the absence of COVID-19 vaccines and the inability to conduct large-scale testing, experts warn that North Korea will have great difficulty in responding to a large outbreak of the virus.
Analysts have warned that Kim may speed up his plans for nuclear tests in an attempt to “distract” the North Korean population from a catastrophic outbreak of Covid-19.
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