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(LEAD) N. Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases fall below 3,000: state media

North Korea 09:17 July 05, 2022

(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 3rd para; ADDS byline)
By Chae Yun-hwan

SEOUL, July 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases dropped below 3,000, according to its state media Tuesday.

More than 2,500 people showed symptoms of fever over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.

It did not provide information on whether additional deaths have been reported. As of June 15, the death toll had stood at 73, with the fatality rate at 0.002 percent.

The total number of fever cases since late April came to over 4.75 million as of 6 p.m. Monday, of which 99.9 percent have recovered, and at least 4,620 others 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. It has been under 10,000 since June 24.

Quarantine officials spray disinfectant at Pyongyang International Airport in the North Korean capital amid the highest-level alert for 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)

Meanwhile, the KCNA also reported the country's health authorities are stepping up efforts to resolve the virus situation.

"The state emergency anti-epidemic headquarters have laid out realistic phased goals and measures to defuse the pandemic crisis once and for all and restore complete security in the anti-epidemic work," it said in an English-language article.

The North's State Academy of Sciences, the Academy of Medical Science and others are in the final stage of research to improve the quality of ventilators and defibrillators, and standardizing rapid antibody test papers and reagents, it said.

It added that a project to develop an aid program to curb the disease and applying it to the "emergency anti-epidemic units" is currently under way.

North Korea disclosed its first COVID-19 case on May 12, after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years, and implemented nationwide lockdowns.

yunhwanchae@yna.co.kr
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