North Korean leader Kim slams officials’ ‘immature’ response amid Covid outbreak

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North Korea's Premier Kim Tok Hun, inspects a pharmacy amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in Pyongyang May 17, 2022. — Picture by KCNA via Reuters
Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - North Korea's Premier Kim Tok Hun, inspects a pharmacy amid the coronavirus disease pandemic in Pyongyang May 17, 2022. — Picture by KCNA via Reuters

SEOUL, May 18 — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un slammed his country’s response to its first officially confirmed Covid-19 outbreak as “immature,” accusing government officials of inadequacies and inertia as fever cases swept the country, state media reported today.

North Korea reported 232,880 more people with fever symptoms, and six more deaths after the country’s first admission of the Covid outbreak last week. It did not say how many people had tested positive for Covid-19.

Presiding over a politburo meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party yesterday, Kim said the “immaturity in the state capacity for coping with the crisis” increased the “complexity and hardships” in fighting the pandemic when “time is the life”, according to the KCNA.

Since its first acknowledgement of the Covid-19 outbreak, the North has reported 1.72 million patients with fever symptoms, including 62 deaths as of Tuesday evening.

Amid concerns over the isolated country’s lack of vaccines and adequate medical infrastructure, the KCNA said health officials have developed a Covid-19 treatment guide aimed at preventing drug overdoses and other mistreatments that have led to many of the reported deaths.

The guide includes treatments individualised for different types of patients, but state media did not elaborate on which drugs are involved in the treatment plans. — Reuters

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