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11 May, 2021 09:01

North Korea still claims zero coronavirus cases – WHO report

North Korea still claims zero coronavirus cases – WHO report

Over a year into the pandemic, the official North Korean coronavirus tally remains at the zero mark, according to its latest situation report to the World Health Organization (WHO).

North Korea is one of the few countries that has not reported even a single case of Covid-19, which has infected more than 159 million people worldwide since the beginning of the pandemic.

The latest WHO report shows that the situation in the isolated country – which has become even more secluded during the Covid-19 crisis – has not changed. In the last week of April, 751 people were tested for Covid-19 in the North. Some 139 of them showed coronavirus-like symptoms, yet turned out to have an “influenza-like” illness or a “severe acute respiratory infection” instead of the dreaded virus.

Pyongyang’s self-reported outstanding performance during the pandemic has been repeatedly questioned by various parties, however, including senior officials in South Korea, who suggested the North has been focused more on hiding cases rather than actually battling the virus.

Also on rt.com Kim Jong-un’s sister threatens South Korean FM for doubting Pyongyang’s zero cases of Covid-19

Such allegations have invoked an angry response in the North. Last week, for instance, the state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper alleged that the South might have been trying to deliberately introduce the virus into its territory. The outlet, which serves as the official publication of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea, urged citizens to stay away from propaganda leaflets produced by the South, suggesting they might be laced with Covid-19.

“Even when we come across a strange object flying in the wind, we must consider them as a possible route of transmission of the malicious virus rather than a natural phenomenon,” the newspaper said, urging readers to “think and move” in line with the nation’s coronavirus rules.

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