North Korea Reports Eight More Deaths as Leader Kim Jong Un Criticizes Pandemic Response

North Korea reported eight more deaths from a “fever” on May 16 after it recently announced a COVID-19 outbreak.

State media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the additional deaths bring the death toll to 50.

Over 392,920 more people had “fever,” bringing the total to over 1,213,550 — 564,860 of which are receiving medical treatment while 648,630 have recovered, KCNA also reported.

North Korea has no COVID-19 vaccines, antiviral treatment drugs, or mass-testing capacity.

According to KCNA, North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un held a consultative meeting to discuss health measures and reported that “orders have not yet been carried out properly and medicines have not been properly supplied to pharmacies.”

Kim reportedly ordered the military commission to act “on immediately stabilizing the supply of medicines in Pyongyang City by involving the powerful forces of the military medical field of the People’s Army.”

KCNA said Kim “strongly criticized” the Cabinet and public health sector “for their irresponsible work attitude and organizing and executing ability.”

“It is because officials of the Cabinet and public health sector in charge of the supply have not rolled up their sleeves, not properly recognizing the present crisis but only talking about the spirit of devotedly serving the people,” Kim reportedly said.

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