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Send in the army: Fighting COVID-19 North Korean style

Send in the army: Fighting COVID-19 North Korean style
Send in the army: Fighting COVID-19 North Korean style
Written by Harry Johnson

North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un issued an order ‘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,’ the state-run KCNA agency reported.

It is not clear just how exactly the army will be involved in the countrywide effort to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but Kim has declared that there is a paramount need ‘to correct the vulnerable points in medicine supply system and take strong measures for transporting medicines.’

Kim has decried top public health sector officials for their ‘irresponsible work attitude’ amid a growing outbreak of coronavirus, while ordering the North Korean army to ‘help stabilize the situation.’

The order for military deployment comes after Kim raged that the drugs released from state stockpiles ‘have not been supplied to inhabitants through pharmacies correctly in time.’ 

He accused civilian officials in charge of the epidemic response of ‘not properly recognizing the present crisis but only talking about the spirit of devotedly serving the people.’

North Korea has been battling an ‘explosive’ spread of the disease since late April, with a ‘maximum emergency quarantine system’ and strict lockdowns introduced nationwide last week. Authorities have confirmed that at least one patient died carrying the COVID-19 Omicron variant, but without mass testing and vaccination programs officials have stopped short of attributing any other cases to the virus behind the global pandemic.

The official death toll reached 50 on Sunday, as the total number of infected individuals exceeded 1,213,550. Some 648,630 have recovered, while at least 564,860 are in quarantine or receiving treatment, according to a bulletin now published daily by the state media.

Most of the deaths so far are being blamed on improper drug prescriptions, overdoses and other cases of ‘negligence’ by health workers.

Some 1.3 million North Koreans are said to have been mobilized to help with ‘hygienic information service, examination and treatment,’ while the health ministry has been compiling proper treatment ‘guidelines, methods and tactics.’

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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