Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Monitoring, Kim ordered a lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, adding that North Korea must maintain a “steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensifying the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis,” according to a report by state news agency KCNA.
North Korea has never confirmed how many people caught COVID-19, apparently lacking testing supplies. It had instead reported daily numbers of fever patients, which totalled some 4.77 million, but has registered no new such cases since July 29.
Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, said the young leader himself had suffered from fever symptoms, according to KCNA, indicating for the first time that he might have been infected with the virus.
“Even though he was seriously ill with a high fever, he could not lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to take care of until the end in the face of the anti-epidemic war,” she said in remarks at a meeting on Wednesday to review the country’s anti-epidemic responses.
She did not elaborate on Kim’s health, but blamed leaflets from South Korea found near the border for causing the outbreak, Reuters reported.
The World Health Organization has cast doubts on North Korea’s claims, saying in June the situation could be getting worse.
Pyongyang’s declaration of victory over COVID comes despite no known vaccine programme. Instead, the country says it relied on lockdowns, homegrown medicine treatments, and what Kim called the “advantageous Korean-style socialist system.”