North Korea is not known to have imported any coronavirus vaccines and has previously snubbed offers such as one from China last year to provide nearly three million doses of its Sinovac shots.
Di lunedi, three North Korean cargo planes flew to China and back, according to a South Korean government official with knowledge of the matter. It is not known what the planes were carrying, but the rare trip came after China pledged to help North Korea with its Covid outbreak.
United States President Joe Biden, who is currently visiting South Korea as part of his first trip to Asia, said on Saturday the US had also offered to provide vaccines to North Korea but that Pyongyang has not responded.
A senior US administration official said on Sunday that Covid restrictions may be playing a role in Pyongyang’s lack of response to offers of talks, Reuters ha riferito.
Some analysts have suggested that Pyongyang’s sudden openness about its Covid problems may have been influenced by the timing of Biden’s trip and his meeting with the new South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol
“The fact that Kim Jong Un has decided to come out and publicly announce this health crisis is quite telling,” Lina Yoon, a senior Korea researcher at Human Rights Watch told CNN. “(It) may have a political element, obviously.”
North Korea’s state media claims its outbreak peaked at over 390,000 lunedì nuovi casi. After showing “rapid growth in the beginning” the outbreak is now in decline, it claims, “after being stably controlled and managed.”
Among the actions KCNA credited were “intensive disinfection efforts” by nearly 200,000 medical and anti-epidemic workers at around 100,000 spots nationwide, including waste and sewage treatment plants.
It also said military medics had been deployed to 670 pharmacies in Pyongyang to supply medicine around the clock and “in giro 20 mobile temporary medicine service centers” had been created to distribute medicine “faster and more accurately.”
North Korea’s present problems are not limited to the outbreak. There have also been suggestions it is facing widespread food shortages, caused in part by strict border lockdowns that were meant to keep the virus out.