Since late April, 524,440 people have shown signs of fever including 174,440 new cases on Friday, KCNA said. About 243,630 have been treated but KCNA has not said how many people have been tested or confirmed the total number of COVID cases.
North Korea has been testing about 1,400 people a week, according to Harvard Medical School’s Kee Park, who has worked on healthcare projects in the country, not nearly enough to survey the hundreds of thousands of people with symptoms.
Kim told the meeting the crisis had been caused by the incompetence and irresponsibility of party organisations but transmission was not uncontrollable and the country must have faith in its battle to overcome the crisis in the shortest possible period.
The meeting also heard a report from epidemic control officials that “in most cases, human casualties were caused by negligence including drug overdose due to lack of knowledge of treatment methods”.
Kim offered to donate his family’s medical supplies for families experiencing hardship “with his resolution to always share the destiny with the people”, KCNA said.
China and Russia are among countries offering help with vaccines, but Pyongyang has not publicly sought assistance.