State media KCNA said on Thursday (Aug 11) that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared victory in the fight against the new coronavirus and ordered the relaxation of the country's strictest anti-epidemic measures put in place in May.
With what international assistance organizations claim to be restricted testing capabilities, North Korea has reported no new suspected cases since July 29 but has not specified how many confirmed illnesses of the virus it has discovered.
According to KCNA, Kim described North Korea's 74 official death rate as a "unprecedented miracle" in comparison to other nations. The data provided by the North are unlikely to offer a complete picture, as per experts.
It declares victory despite having no known vaccination program in place. Lockdowns, domestic medical procedures, and what Kim called the "advantageous Korean-style socialist system" were instead used, as reported by the nation.
However, he insisted that North Korea must maintain a "steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensify the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis." He ordered the removal of the maximal anti-pandemic measures.
Kim Yo Jong, Kim's sister, said the North Korean leader had fever symptoms and blamed the outbreak on leaflets from South Korea, KCNA reported.
Last July 1, North Korea allegedly shifted responsibility for the wave of infections in the impoverished nation to its neighbor by asserting that the country's first COVID-19 epidemic was caused by patients touching "foreign substances" close to the border with South Korea.
A five-year-old kindergartener and an 18-year-old soldier who came into contact with the unknown materials "in a hill around barracks and residential quarters" in the eastern county of Kumgang at the beginning of April exhibited symptoms and later tested positive for the coronavirus, according to KCNA. All other fever cases reported in the nation up to mid-April, according to the KCNA, were brought on by other illnesses, although it made no more explanations.
On the other hand, North Korea will have two significant meetings in the coming weeks, one of which will examine the nation's anti-epidemic policies, according to state media on Monday (Aug. 8). The country claims there have been no new COVID-19 cases since late July. According to the official KCNA, the North Korean Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), and the state's parliament, will meet on September 7 to examine the law on rural development and organizational issues.
Separately, North Korea made the decision to hold an emergency anti-epidemic review national meeting in the first few days of August "to confirm the new orientation" in its policies.