North Korea reported a new epidemic” of an intestinal disease on Thursday, an unusual announcement from the secretive country that is already contending with a COVID-19 outbreak and severe economic turmoil.
Such diseases routinely occur in North Korea where there is a shortage of water treatment facilities and the public, the system has been largely broken for decades
Leader, Kim Jong Un has however instructed officials to implement measures such as quarantine, medical treatment, and sterilization in a bid to contain an “acute enteric epidemic,” according to the official Korean Central News Agency
Some sources said the purpose of the announcement was not so much to report the infections themselves as to mention that leader Kim Jong Un donated medicine from his stock in an apparent effort to burnish his image at a moment of extreme hardship.
The official Korean Central News Agency reported that Kim donated medicine from what is referred to as his family’s reserves. The nation reportedly recorded its first COVID-19 case on May 12 since the pandemic began in 2020, but South Korea’s spy agency cast doubt on whether Pyongyang’s daily reports truly reflect the number of people infected with the coronavirus.
KCNA said on Thursday that more than 4.5 million out of the country’s 26 million people have fallen ill due to an unidentified fever and 73 died.