North Korea speeds up production of drugs and medical supplies to fight Covid-19

North Korea has ramped up production of medical supplies to treat patients, while building more isolation wards and ramping up nationwide disinfection efforts.

“Manufacturing units in the medical field, including Nampo Medical Equipment Factory, are making rapid progress in production and supplying supplies to all over the country,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency said. KCNA said today.

The products that North Korea is focusing on exporting now include thermometers, needles, and traditional medicines with analgesic and antipyretic effects that are said to be “effective in the prevention and treatment of dangerous diseases.” . KCNA added that thousands of tons of salt were rushed to the capital Pyongyang to produce disinfectant solutions, while many isolation areas were set up and disinfecting activities were enhanced.

Kim Jong-un inspects a pharmacy in Pyongyang on May 15.  Photo: KCNA.

Kim Jong-un inspects a pharmacy in Pyongyang on May 15. Photo: KCNA.

The information came after North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that “the state’s ability to respond to the crisis is still weak” and criticized the “inactive, negligent and passive attitude of officials” top positions” during the Covid-19 outbreak.

North Korea yesterday reported another 262,270 cases of fever, bringing the total number of people with this symptom to nearly two million, of which 63 died. North Korean media did not specify how many cases of fever and death have tested positive for nCoV.

North Korea last week announced the first case of Covid-19 was detected in the capital Pyongyang. A day later, the country confirmed hundreds of thousands of fever cases were recorded across the country since the end of April. Leader Kim Jong-un ordered a nationwide blockade to prevent Covid-19 from spreading, and at the same time deployed it. The army joined the fight against the epidemic.

North Korea has one of the poorest health systems in the world, with poorly-equipped hospitals, few intensive care facilities, no drugs to treat Covid-19 and the inability to Extensive testing, according to experts. North Korean state media are encouraging people to treat Covid-19 at home with fever-reducing medicines, antibiotics and herbal teas.

The Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus expressed “deep concern about the risk of further spread of Covid-19 in North Korea, especially given the unvaccinated population and many people with the disease”. underlying medical conditions, putting them at risk of worsening and death.”

The US and South Korea have expressed their willingness to assist North Korea in dealing with the pandemic, but have not received a response. An unnamed diplomatic source said that three North Korean Air Koryo planes arrived in China to receive medical supplies and returned to Pyongyang earlier this week.

Vu Anh (Theo KCNA)

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