North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un has lambasted health officials and ordered the army to help distribute medicine, as a wave of Covid cases sweeps through the country.
More than a million people have now been sickened by what Pyongyang is calling a “fever”, state media said.
Some 50 people have died, but it’s unclear how many of those suspected cases tested positive for Covid.
North Korea has only limited testing capacity, so few cases are confirmed.
North Koreans are likely to be especially vulnerable to the virus due to lack of vaccinations and a poor healthcare system. A nationwide lockdown is in place in the reclusive country.
State media said Mr Kim led an emergency politburo meeting at the weekend where he accused officials of bungling the distribution of the national medicine reserves.
The country announced its first confirmed Covid cases last week – although experts believe the virus has likely been circulating for some time.
Mr Kim has imposed “maximum emergency” virus controls, including lockdowns and gathering restrictions in workplaces.
The international community offered to supply North Korea with millions of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made jabs last year, but Pyongyang claimed it had controlled Covid by sealing its borders early in January 2020.
Source: BBC News