North Korea Claims 1 Million COVID Recoveries; WHO Fears New Variant May Emerge
Pyongyang: Just one week after revealing an explosive COVID-19 outbreak, North Korea on Wednesday reported more than a million coronavirus-infected patients have recoveries. It left experts wondering how that is possible.
Expressing deep concern, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that a large number of individuals are suspected to be asymptomatic, which makes them vulnerable to further transmission in the country.
WHO emergency chief Michael Ryan feared the possibility of new variants emerging.
“WHO is powerless to act unless countries come forward to seek help. This unfettered transmission could pose the risk of a new variant,” he said.
North Korea’s state media on Wednesday reported 232,880 cases of fever and six deaths, taking the total death tally to 62. There have been more than 1.7 million fever cases since late April.
Global health experts have said during the course of the pandemic that there is a staggering under-reporting of COVID-19 cases in North Korea.
North Korea has repeatedly rejected UN’s offer of COVAX vaccines, which is aimed to keep the coronavirus outbreak under check in underdeveloped countries.
North has also rejected South Korea’s offer of vaccines and medical help. Reports suggest Pyongyang may soon be seeking the help of its ally China.