N. Korea reports 262,270 new 'fever' cases on Thursday; total nearing 2 million
Updated: 2022-05-19 17:05:27 KST
North Korea has reported over 260-thousand new "fever" cases and one additional death.
The figures were from 6 PM Tuesday to 6 PM Wednesday.
The North's state-run Korean Central News Agency said that the total number of cases is now nearing two million.
People are being told to wear masks and, in fact, they're being advised to wear two masks to limit their exposure to the virus.
It's been just a week since Pyeongyang confirmed its first COVID-19 infection after claiming to be virus-free for over two years.
Experts believe the number of infections could be much higher than the official tally.
Some even say that the rapidly spreading virus could have devastating consequences.
"The situation appears to be very severe. So all we have right now is North Korean data. And we have to work with that data. There appears to be a fairly severe outbreak in the capital city of Pyeongyang at about 269,000 active cases. That's 7.5 percent of the population of Pyeongyang. Unfortunately, for the people of North Korea, vaccines are not available the same way that they're available in most places in the world and that's the biggest weapon in the fight against COVID."
Earlier, the South Korean government reached out to offer medical assistance to the North, but the regime has remained silent for the fourth day.
Seoul's unification ministry on Thursday said it will wait for a response while monitoring the virus outbreak in the North.
Many experts say that it won't be easy for Pyeongyang to accept the offer since the last thing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants is help from South Korea.
Meanwhile, three South Korean civic groups have announced plans to jointly provide Pyongyang with medical aid worth 10 million U.S. dollars.
They plan to send COVID-19 test kits and masks by early next week, and said they'll use all possible routes to make the delivery.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.