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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

N Korea reports no new fever cases

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North Korea reported no new fever cases on Saturday for the first time since its acknowledgement in mid-May of a Covid-19 outbreak in the isolated country, state-run media reported.


North Korea said earlier this month it was on a path to "finally defuse" its first publicly declared coronavirus crisis even as Asian neighbours experience a resurgence in infections driven by Omicron subvariants.


The official KCNA news agency said 99.99% of its 4.77 million fever patients since late April have fully recovered, but because of an apparent lack of testing, it has not released any figures on people who tested positive for the virus.


Infectious disease experts have cast doubts on North Korea's claims of progress, with the World Health Organization saying last month it believed the situation was getting worse, not better, amid an absence of independent data.


KCNA said a rapid mobile treatment force was still on high alert and efforts were under way to "detect and stamp out the epidemic" until the last patient is fully recovered. The state media said 204 fever patients were under treatment as of Friday.


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