N.Korea reports nearly 270,000 new fever cases

May 17


North Korea's ruling Workers' Party newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, has reported about 269,500 new fever cases and six deaths in the 24 hours through 6 P.M. on Monday.


The latest daily tally of cases, reported in the newspaper's Tuesday's edition, was 123,400 fewer than the previous day's total. This is reportedly the first decline since Pyongyang last week officially revealed the country's first COVID-19 cases.


North Korea's total number of confirmed fever cases since late April has exceeded 1,483,000, with 56 deaths. The country has a population of about 25.8 million.


The Rodong Sinmun also featured a front-page story reporting that the country's military on Monday staged a rally pledging victory over a "malignant virus."


The rally came after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a special order mobilizing the military's medical corps to stabilize the supply of medicine.


The newspaper said military personnel pledged at the rally to overcome the quarantine crisis in the capital Pyongyang.


Senior officials of the ruling party and the government inspected pharmacies, which have shifted to a 24-hour operation, as well as facilities storing medicine.


Noting the country's poor medical system, North Korea watchers say the military rally was apparently designed to shore up unity to contain the spread of infections. Kim Jong Un has reportedly donated household medicine.