North Korea suffers major spike in ‘fever’ outbreak

Officials recorded a nearly tenfold jump in new patients in just 24 hours

North Korea has reported a huge increase in a mysterious “fever” outbreak, including nearly two dozen additional deaths and tens of thousands of new cases. Kim Jong-un called the epidemic one of the biggest “turmoil” in the history of the nation.

Health officials confirmed 174,440 “new cases of fever” nationwide and 21 fatalities on Friday — up from just six deaths the day before — reported the state-run KCNA, noting that the total number of patients had surpassed 524,000 since late April. About 288,810 are now in quarantine or being treated.

At a meeting of the Politburo, state leader Kim Jong-un emphasized the “effectiveness of regional blockades and containment measures per unit”, call for a “diligent” government response and additional efforts to “raising scientific awareness of quarantine among all people.”

“The spread of this virulent infectious disease in our country is one of the greatest periods of turmoil since the founding of our state, just as the spread of the coronavirus around the world is very serious.” Kim added.

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North Korea confirms first deaths in massive ‘fever’ outbreak

While officials confirmed that one patient was carrying the Covid-19 Omicron variant before succumbing to the “fever,” they have stopped attributing other cases or deaths to the virus behind the global pandemic. Before that first patient, the government claimed to have kept Covid-19 out of North Korea completely with hard border closures.

The first verified case of fever caused a “maximum emergency quarantine system” and strict lockdowns across the country earlier this week, with the government pledging to step up containment measures around the world “all institutions and all sectors of the country, including party, administrative and economic institutions at all levels.”

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