COVID in North Korea likely getting worse: WHO

STORY: The World Health Organization on Wednesday warned that things could be getting worse in North Korea as the country battles its first wave of COVID-19 infections.

That’s a contrast to Pyongyang’s own claims about its progress in combatting the spread of the virus.

According to North Korean state media, the number of daily cases of what it calls ‘fever’ topped 390,000 two weeks ago.

But by Thursday, that had fallen to around 96,000 cases.

Experts have warned that government-controlled media could be underreporting the situation.

Pyongyang has also never confirmed how many people have tested positive for the virus.

In a video briefing Wednesday WHO emergencies chief Michael Ryan said, “We assume the situation is getting worse, not better.”

He said the organization did not have access to any inside information but that it was working with neighbors South Korea and China to try to get a better picture.

North Korean state media report that provinces have been stepping up their anti-epidemic campaign.

That includes lockdowns and coastal blockades, increasing production of drugs and medical supplies and carrying out disinfection work.

No new deaths were reported on Thursday.