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North Korea's total suspected COVID-19 cases surpass 3 million

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A street near Pyongyang station is empty, May 24. Reuters-Yonhap
A street near Pyongyang station is empty, May 24. Reuters-Yonhap

North Korea reported over 115,000 new suspected COVID-19 cases Wednesday, with the total number of "fever" cases surpassing 3 million.

More than 115,970 people showed symptoms of "fever" over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.

The death toll remained the same at 68 as the North claimed to have no additional deaths reported for the second consecutive day.

The total number of cases since late April stood at more than 3.06 million as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, of which more than 2.74 million have recovered and at least 323,330 are being treated, it added.

The daily fever tally has gradually dropped in recent days, with new cases staying below 200,000 for the fourth consecutive day after peaking at over 392,920, May 15.

Officials at the ruling Workers' Party, including members of the presidium of the Political Bureau and secretaries of the Central Committee, inspected local hospitals and pharmacies, while central-level hospitals have introduced a round-the-clock "telemedicine service system" to provide timely assistance to local hospitals, the KCNA said.

The North is also carrying out a "publicity campaign" to raise public awareness about the Omicron virus to help people "deeply understand various scientific treatment methods to be applied to curing patients of different ages and constitutions."

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, carried articles urging people to strictly follow the coronavirus guidelines and lockdown measures.

"Although the lockdown of regions and units creates many challenges and difficulties in our work and lives, we will win this antivirus battle at all costs," it said.

On May 12, North Korea reported its first COVID-19 case after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years and implemented a nationwide lockdown as it declared a shift to a "maximum emergency" virus control system. (Yonhap)

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