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(LEAD) N. Korea's suspected COVID-19 cases drop below 30,000: state media

All News 11:42 June 15, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more details from 3rd para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 15 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases fell below 30,000, its state media said Wednesday.

More than 29,910 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 did not provide information on whether additional deaths have been reported. The death toll stood at just 72 as of June 11.

The total number of fever cases since late April came to over 4.53 million as of 6 p.m. Tuesday, of which more than 4.47 million have recovered and at least 52,310 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.

This photo, released by the North's official Korean Central News Agency on June 6, 2022, shows workers sterilizing a subway station in Pyongyang. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

North Korean officials are ramping up antivirus efforts to check "even the slight vacuum of the inroads of virus" in tourist areas and "spots at epidemic risk," the KCNA said.

Officials in the urban management sector are also carrying out measures to disinfect sewage and garbage across the country, it added.

According to the regional tally released by the state-run Korean Central Television, a considerable number of new fever cases were reported in farming areas, including South Hwanghae Province with 6,035 cases and North Hwanghae Province with 3,719 cases. Pyongyang logged 828 new infections.

Observers voice concerns that the virus outbreak could further worsen the impoverished nation's fragile economy and deepen its chronic food shortage problem 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.

julesyi@yna.co.kr
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