North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said “a great disaster” has befallen his country after it was reported that there had been 21 more deaths of “unknown origin” from people with fever.
State news agency KCNA said about 280,810 people were being treated and 27 had died since a fever started being reported in the country at the end of April.
It does not refer to COVID-19.
On Thursday, North Korea reported one death from coronavirus – and the country’s leader ordered a strict nationwide embargo.
KCNA quoted Kim as saying the health crisis was caused by “the incompetence and irresponsibility of party organizations in anti-epidemic activities”.
KCNA quoted Kim as having to make efforts to overcome the outbreak in the shortest time possible, adding that “it was a great disturbance”.
Expected public reception of COVID The infection highlights the possibility of a major crisis in a country that has refused international help for vaccinations and closed its borders.
The outbreak could have dire consequences given the country’s poor health care system and 26 million people believed to be mostly unvaccinated.