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North Korea reports first COVID death after 350,000 sickened with fever

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INTERNATIONAL: At least one person confirmed to have COVID-19 has died in North Korea and hundreds of thousands have shown fever symptoms, state media said on Friday (May 13), offering hints at the potentially dire scale of country's first confirmed outbreak of the pandemic.

At least six people who showed fever symptoms died, with one of those case confirmed to have contracted the Omicron variant of the virus, official KCNA news agency reported.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the anti-virus command centre on Thursday 12th May to check the situation and responses after declaring a "gravest state of emergency" and ordering a national lockdown on Thursday.

North Korea has said the outbreak began in the capital of Pyongyang in April. State media did not elaborate on the cause of the outbreak, but the city hosted several massive public events on April 15 and 25, including a military parade and large gatherings where most people did not wear masks.

“Nationally, there were 18,000 newly reported cases with fever symptoms in the span of one day on May 12, and about 187,800 people are being treated and isolated so far. Out of six people who died, one of them was confirmed Covid-19 positive.”

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