North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sends aid to 800 families suffering from ‘acute enteric outbreak’

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had provided aid to 800 families suffering from an “acute enteric epidemic”.

Calling on officials “to fulfill their duty in the work of alleviating people’s misfortune and suffering as soon as possible,” Kim said. “Officials … have prepared medicine, food and daily necessities necessary for epidemic treatment and stable life to help people in Haeju City and Kangryong County (from South Hwanghae Province).”

Suspected of being cholera or typhoid, the outbreak is being monitored by South Korea’s unification ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

Raising concerns could worsen chronic food shortages amid the wave of COVID-19 infections, South Hwanghae Province, which is North Korea’s main agricultural region, said it would have a negative impact on production.

Rather than confirmed COVID cases, North Korea reported the number of patients showing symptoms of fever, potentially due to a lack of testing capacity.

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Bringing the total number in the country since late April to more than 4.58 million, KCNA on Friday reported 23,160 more people with fever symptoms.

Expressing optimism that the COVID wave has shown signs of abating, Kim said that in North Korea, more than 99 percent of fever patients have recovered.

However, his claims were disputed by the World Health Organization which said it believed the situation was getting worse.

(With agency contributions)

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