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North Korea Reports First Coronavirus Deaths Amid Explosive Outbreak

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Six deaths were reported by North Korea from the Chinese coronavirus Friday, amid an “explosive” outbreak of the disease. The virus infected 18,000 people in North Korea on Thursday.

“On May 12, some 18,000 people with fever were reported in the country. As of now, 187,800 people are being treated,” KCNA stated in an English-language report.

Further, the article revealed that six people died of the Chinese coronavirus (North Korea) as of Friday. At least one of these deaths was linked to the omicron version of the disease.

The current outbreak of Chinese coronavirus in North Korea began in April as an “unknown virus” and spread “explosively” throughout the country, KCNA reported Friday. According to KCNA, the outbreak is the first ever Chinese coronavirus epidemic officially recognized by Pyongyang. It has affected 350,000 North Koreans. On May 13, the state news agency reported that 162,200 people have been “fully treated” for this disease in recent weeks. North Korea’s population is 24 million.

On May 12, the communist North Korean state announced that it had received its first cases of Chinese coronavirus. This was the first time Pyongyang has admitted to having been infected with the disease since March 2020, when it started a pandemic. North Korea has been suspected to have suffered periodic outbreaks from the Chinese coronavirus in recent years. This is due to its shared border with China. The disease was first reported in autumn 2019 or winter 2019.

In January 2020, North Korea was the first country to close its borders due to the impending Chinese coronavirus epidemic. This action isolated the country from Russia, China, and South Korea and appeared to have prevented major outbreaks in North Korea of the Chinese coronavirus, at least legally.

Although one alleged case was reported in North Korea of the Chinese coronavirus in August 2020, the World Health Organization did not officially confirm the diagnosis. A coronavirus test was not performed on the subject by the U.N. public healthcare body.

South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper claimed in July 2020 that the number of North Korean coronavirus deaths had surpassed 500 by the end of July 2020.

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