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(LEAD) N. Korea reports 61,730 new suspected COVID-19 cases

North Korea 10:12 June 07, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from 4th para; ADDS byline)
By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, June 7 (Yonhap) -- North Korea reported more than 61,000 new fever cases Tuesday, with the daily count remaining under 70,000 for the second consecutive day.

Over 61,730 more 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. It provided no further information regarding additional deaths.

The total number of fever cases since late April came to over 4.19 million as of 6 p.m. Monday, of which more than 4.08 million have recovered and at least 115,240 are being treated, it added.

The death toll stood at 71 as of Friday, according to its latest mortality update released the following day.

This photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on June 4, 2022, shows workers sterilizing the inside of a train in Pyongyang. North Korea reported about 79,100 new suspected COVID-19 cases on the day. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The country's daily fever tally has been on a downward trend after peaking at over 392,920 on May 15. The figure has remained under 100,000 for the eighth consecutive day.

The KCNA stressed that the "Cabinet's leading role has been enhanced" in the antivirus struggle, saying that it has intensified discussions to "ramp up the state anti-epidemic capacity."

"The central emergency anti-epidemic sector and the Cabinet are making institutional, manpower, material and technical preparations to control the outbreak, inroads and spread of the malignant pandemic disease," it said.

The North is also stepping up the production of various disinfectants and medical supplies, it added.

Observers here have voiced concerns over the impact of the virus outbreak in the impoverished country, known for its fragile health care system and chronic food shortages.

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

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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