North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Saturday that the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Hermit Kingdom is a “great upheaval” that will require unity to defeat.
A total of 21 new deaths and 174,440 more people with symptoms were reported Saturday.
“The spread of the malignant epidemic is a great turmoil to fall on our country since the founding,” Kim said during an emergency meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party, according to state news agency KCNA.
North Korea did not confirm its first-ever COVID cases until Thursday, although the international community had long doubted the country’s insistence that it was COVID-free.
The isolated nation had shunned offers of vaccines from a United Nations distributor, leaving most of the country’s 26 million citizens unvaccinated, observers believe.
The new deaths and cases pushed the total numbers to 27 deaths and 524,440 cases amid a rapid spread of fever since late April.
North Korea said 243,630 people had recovered and 280,810 remained in quarantine.
State media didn’t specify how many of the fever cases and deaths were confirmed as COVID-19 infections.
Thursday’s announcement came after NK News reported the nation had “abruptly ordered” residents indoors Tuesday due to a “national problem.”
With Post Wires