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(LEAD) N. Korea reports nearly 220,000 new suspected COVID-19 cases, one more death

North Korea 07:02 May 21, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with details; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, May 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Saturday it has confirmed around 220,000 new cases of fever and another death, nine days after publicly admitting a COVID-19 outbreak in the country.

More than 219,030 people showed symptoms of fever and one death were reported over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters. It raised the death toll to 66, while 281,350 have recovered.

The total number of fever cases since late April in the nation, with a population of approximately 25 million, came to more than 2.46 million as of 6 p.m. Friday, of which more than 1.76 million have recovered and roughly 692,480 are being treated, it added.

On May 12, the reclusive North announced its first confirmed case of the Omicron variant. Many North Korea observers have raised concerns about the impoverished country's heath care system, including its coronavirus testing ability. They also say Pyongyang might be underreporting the number of patients showing symptoms.

North Korean health care workers disinfect the Pyongyang zoo in this photo from the state-run Korean Central News Agency on May 20, 2022 amid an outbreak of COVID-19. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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