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Widespread disbelief over North Korea’s tiny COVID death rate – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2022-05-27 03:45:00 –

Seoul, South Korea >> According to North Korea, the fight against COVID-19 was impressive. About 3.3 million people are reported to have fever, but only 69 died.

If all are cases of coronavirus, it has a case fatality rate of 0.002% and has never been achieved for a disease that killed more than 6 million people in other countries, including the world’s wealthiest countries.

However, North Korea’s allegations are widely suspected about two weeks after admitting the first domestic COVID-19 outbreak. Experts say that the poor northern part is much more than reported, as there are very few vaccines, quite a lot of undernourished people, and no critical care centers and test kits to detect large numbers of virus cases. He says he should have killed him.

North Korean secrecy does not allow outsiders to ascertain the true magnitude of the outbreak. Some observers say North Korea has underreported the dead to protect Prime Minister Kim Jong Un. It could also have exaggerated the outbreak to strengthen control of 26 million people.

“Scientifically, their numbers are unacceptable,” said Lee Johan, a professor at the Graduate School of Public Health at South Korea’s Azhou University, where public data “may be all controlled (by the authorities) and embedded in them.” It has a high degree of sex. ” Political intent. “

The most likely course is for North Korea to immediately declare victory over COVID-19, which will give all credit to Kim’s leadership, perhaps during the June political conference. According to observers, the 38-year-old ruler will gain greater public support to deal with the serious financial difficulties caused by border closures, UN sanctions, and his own mismanagement. Longing for.

“It’s time to (strengthen) internal control because of the accumulation of complaints from various people,” said the director of the Sagayama Policy Research Institute in Seoul. “Kim Jong Un has shown that his campaign has been very successful and has led epidemic efforts to strengthen his grip on power.”

North Korea maintained a widely controversial claim that there were no domestic infections for more than two years before admitting the outbreak of Omicron on May 12. When North Korea finally announced the outbreak, many wondered why it is now.

Initially, it was seen as an attempt to exploit the outbreak to obtain foreign humanitarian aid. There was hope that possible aid from Seoul and Washington could help resume secular stagnation diplomacy on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

Kim has begun what he calls the outbreak a “cataclysm” and what his promotional team calls all-out efforts to curb it.

He held several Politburo meetings to criticize officials, inspected pharmacies at dawn, and mobilized troops to assist in the delivery of medicines. Health officials explained the pandemic reaction on state television, and state newspapers published articles on how to deal with fever, such as gargling with salt water and drinking honey or willow leaf tea.

“Honey is rare for ordinary North Koreans. They probably felt sick when the government asked them to drink honey tea,” he said. “I have an older brother in North Korea and I have a lot of worries about him.”

Every morning, North Korea announces details about the number of new patients with fever, but not at COVID-19. Most cases are as COVID-19, as experts say, North Korean health authorities lack a diagnostic kit, but still know how to distinguish fever and symptoms caused by other common infections. I believe it should be counted.

North Korea’s daily fever count peaked at nearly 400,000 early last week. It has plummeted to about 100,000 in the last few days. On Friday, it added another death after claiming no deaths for three consecutive days.

“Our country has set a world record for the longest period of no single (COVID-19) infection … and we are now reversing the flow of sudden outbreaks in a short period of time. Achieved, “said the main newspaper of the Rodong Sinmun. Thursday. “This clearly proves the scientific nature of our urgent epidemic countermeasures.”

Medical experts question the validity of North Korea’s case fatality rate of 0.002%. Given that the mortality rate of unvaccinated people against South Korea’s Omicron variant was 0.6%, North Korea has a similar or higher mortality rate due to its poor ability to treat patients and malnutrition. It must be, said Shin Young-jung, a preventive professor. Medicine at Hanyang University in Seoul.

In a survey released by Johns Hopkins University last year, North Korea was ranked 193 out of 195 for its ability to cope with epidemics. According to a recent United Nations report, about 40% of its population was undernourished. North Korea’s free socialist public health system has been in turmoil for decades, and North Korean defectors testify that they bought medicines in markets and elsewhere while in North Korea.

“North Korea will not care about the dead at all,” said North Korean defector Choi Jong Hoon, who worked as a doctor in North Korea in the 2000s. “Many North Koreans have already died of malaria, measles, chickenpox and typhoid fever. There are all kinds of infectious diseases.”

Hee-seop Choi, a researcher at Korea University’s affiliated institution, said that North Korea is likely to have decided to allow the outbreak of Omicron because it is considered less lethal and easier to manage. rice field. He suspected that North Korea had set up a scenario to raise and then lower the fever case in order to enhance Kim’s leadership.

Professor Lee of Ajou said North Korea may have exaggerated the previous heat incident to give the public a “strong shock” to gain support for the government, but to stop public anxiety. Avoided publishing too many death details.

Professor Shin warned that if people were not vaccinated and died at the same mortality rate as South Korea, the outbreak could eventually kill more than 100,000 people.

The outbreak of North Korea will probably last for several months, said Mun Jin-soo, director of the Institute for Health and Unity at Seoul National University. He said there was an urgent need to ship antivirals and other essential medicines to North Korea, rather than vaccines that would take at least a few months.

Ahn Kyung-su, Head of DPRKHEALTH.ORG, a website focused on North Korea’s health issues, said: “North Korea is always working beyond your imagination. It’s hard to predict what they will do, but they have plans.”



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