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(LEAD) N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases fall below 60,000

All News 10:22 June 08, 2022

(ATTN: ADDS more info throughout, photo, byline)
By Yi Wonju

SEOUL, June 8 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new fever cases dropped below 60,000 for the first time since it announced a COVID-19 outbreak last month, according to its state media Wednesday.

Over 54,610 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 4.25 million as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, of which more than 4.15 million have recovered and at least 103,300 are being treated, it added.

The country's daily fever tally has been on a downward trend after peaking at over 392,920 on May 15.

The death toll stood at 71 as of June 3, showed its latest mortality update released the following day.

North Korean workers in protective gear carry out disinfection work in Pyongyang's Sadong District amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in this undated photo released by the official Korean Central News Agency on June 7, 2022. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korean workers in protective gear carry out disinfection work in Pyongyang's Sadong District amid the COVID-19 outbreak, in this undated photo released by the official Korean Central News Agency on June 7, 2022. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Pyongyang is stepping up efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to ensure the "smooth operation of all sectors of the national economy," the KCNA reported.

"Farms all over the country are intensifying medical check-ups of the volunteers involved in the farm work and responsibly sterilizing water reservoirs, wells, etc.," it added.

The KCNA also said all institutions, industrial establishments and farms are pushing ahead with their production and construction work to meet the requirements of the "maximum emergency" system.

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 among many of the 25 million residents nationwide.

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

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