Kim criticises problem in early response to COVID-19 crisis

Seoul: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un criticised officials for failing to respond properly to the COVID-19 outbreak in its early stages, state media said on Wednesday.

His criticism came as the country reported more than 232,880 people with fever symptoms nationwide and six additional deaths, raising total fatalities to 62, reports Yonhap News Agency.

At a ruling Workers’ Party meeting on Tuesday, Kim said that “immaturity” in coping with the crisis from the early stages and the slack response of the country’s leading officials has fully revealed the “vulnerable points”, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

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Kim added that such measures against Covid have resulted in further increasing the “complexity and hardships” in the early period of the antivirus campaign when “time is the life”.

Kim then called for “redoubled efforts” and stressed the need to “more scrupulously organise the work for providing the living conditions and the supply of daily necessities”.

Pyongyang stated the number of new fever cases has declined this week after reaching its peak of over 390,000 on Sunday.

The total number of fever cases stood at more than 1.72 million as of Wednesday, of which more than 1.02 million have fully recovered and at least 691,170 being treated.

On May 12, North Korea reported its first COVID-19 case after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years.

In response, Pyongyang declared the implementation of the “maximum emergency” virus control system.

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