PC: CNN Philippines

Four suspected cases have been identified in a province close to North Korea’s border with China, two weeks after the communist nation declared victory over the coronavirus.

According to state news agency KCNA, the area where the probable cases were discovered was “immediately closed down.”

According to KCNA, four “fever cases suspected of being infected with malignant epidemic occurred at a facility in Ryanggang province on August 23,” citing the nation’s State Emergency Epidemic Prevention Headquarters.

Limited diagnostic resources are available in North Korea, which refers to suspected Covid infections as “fever cases.”

In May, when it reported what it described as a “explosive” outbreak and a “serious national emergency,” it admitted its first confirmed instances of Covid-19.

4.77 million suspected cases have since been reported, although there haven’t been any new ones since July 29. On August 11, leader Kim Jong Un declared the virus to be defeated.
Many specialists, including those at the World Health Organization, have disputed the organization’s assertions.

Its death rate, which many experts believe to be remarkably low given that the vast majority of its population is believed to be unvaccinated, is one reason for pessimism. 74 deaths have been officially acknowledged in the 25 million-person nation; KCNA previously attributed this to what it called a “exceptional miracle.”

Along with lockdowns, rigorous medical examinations, and what Kim referred to as the “advantageous Korean-style socialist system,” North Korea has claimed success.

According to Reuters, it has also praised the use of daily PCR tests on water collected in border regions and claimed to have created new techniques to detect the virus and other diseases like monkeypox.
KCNA highlighted that there had been “no humans infected with the malignant epidemic since the spread of malignant virus was eliminated in the country” while reporting the most recent suspected instances.

Anti-epidemic teams, according to the report, had been enlisted to look into the instances in the most recent “fever outbreak.”
CNN is unable to independently verify Pyongyang’s assertions due to the lack of independent data in the region.

Recent trade data, however, revealed that despite its self-proclaimed success, the nation purchased Covid prevention and control supplies from China in July, including more than a million face masks and 15,000 pairs of rubber gloves.

Some commentators contend that North Korea has tightened social restrictions as a result of the pandemic, while others assert that the country’s assertion of victory over the disease may pave the way for its first nuclear test since 2017.