(LEAD) N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases below 60,000 for 2nd day
(ATTN: RECASTS lead; UPDATES with additional info; ADDS photo, byline)
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEOUL, June 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new fever cases stayed below 60,000 for the second consecutive day, its state media reported Thursday, nearly a month after the reclusive nation announced a COVID-19 outbreak.
Over 50,860 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.
The total number of fever cases since late April came to over 4.3 million as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, of which more than 4.21 million have recovered, and at least 93,690 are being treated, it added. It did not provide information regarding whether additional deaths have been confirmed.
The country's daily fever tally has been on a downward trend after peaking at over 392,920 on May 15.
Pyongyang, meanwhile, is stepping up efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus by carrying out medical checkups with "scientific accuracy, promptness and creditability," the KCNA reported.
"The scientific levels of medical check-up and examination and various tests are raised to correctly identify the malignant virus infection on the basis of finding all the fever cases across the country," it said.
The state-controlled new agency's report seems to be intended to counter concerns in the outside world about the virus control and prevention capabilities of the impoverished country, known for its dilapidated health care system and malnutrition among many of its 25 million people.
Observers here question the credibility of its coronavirus statistics, with the North stating that its death toll stood at just 71 as of June 3.
On May 12, North Korea disclosed its first COVID-19 case after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years.
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