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(LEAD) N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases stay below 20,000 for 3rd day: state media

All News 09:41 June 21, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 6th para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained below 20,000 for the third consecutive day, according to its state media Tuesday.

More than 17,250 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. As of last Wednesday, the death toll stood at 73, with a fatality rate of 0.002 percent.

The total number of fever cases since late April came to over 4.65 million as of 6 p.m. Monday, of which more than 4.62 million have recovered, and at least 29,270 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.

Quarantine officials spray disinfectant at Pyongyang International Airport in the North Korean capital amid the highest-level alert on the coronavirus, in this undated file photo released by the North's Korean Central News Agency on June 10, 2022. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

The KCNA said more than 1.2 million health workers nationwide are working to deal with the virus crisis.

The Rodong Sinmun, the North's main newspaper, carried an editorial on its front page that described the current situation as "the worst national crisis since the country's founding" amid the ongoing battle with COVID-19 and another infectious disease outbreak reported last week in its southwestern region.

It urged the exercise of "communist virtues" and "collectivism," highlighting leader Kim Jong-un and other top officials' recent donations of medicine to residents in South Hwanghae Province suffering from the latest disease outbreak.

Last Thursday, the North reported an outbreak of an "acute enteric epidemic" in Haeju City and Kangryong County in South Hwanghae Province. It did not specify what the disease is.

On May 12, North Korea disclosed its first COVID-19 case after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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