Unknown bowel disease followed by undiagnosed fever
North Korea last month announced the arrival of its first coronavirus patient and activated the “Maximum Emergency Epidemic Prevention System”. At the same time, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un put himself at the front and center of the government’s response. Still, the virus had confirmed more than 4.5 million cases of “fever” and 73 deaths, according to figures published by state media. At the same time, now North Korean news agency KCNA has declared a new “acute internal epidemic” outbreak in South Hwanghae province this week, with Kim urging officials to “stop the epidemic as soon as possible”.
Kim’s sister took the lead
According to the report of KCNN, given the seriousness of the situation, Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong has a high-level meeting with senior North Korean officials, in which measures to stop the disease have been discussed immediately. It has been said in the report that Kim Jong Un’s sister has also donated medicines. State media KCNA reported on Friday that the drug “will be given to more than 800 families suffering from an acute epidemic that has spread to some areas of South Hwanghae Province.” This figure suggests that at least 1,600 people have been infected with the intestinal disease.
risk of cholera or typhoid outbreak
Reports have fueled speculation that the unspecified disease could be cholera or typhoid. But, it is believed that the name of this disease is not being disclosed due to poor food and water system in the country. Experts who know North Korea say that South Hwanghae Province is North Korea’s agricultural area and it may have spread cholera or typhite due to bad water there. Experts have warned of a major public health emergency in North Korea, which has one of the world’s worst medical care systems. North Korean hospitals do not have modern resources as well as there is a shortage of medicines.
South Korea ready to help
At the same time, South Korea has said that it is ready to help North Korea. According to the Yonhap news agency, an official of Seoul’s unification ministry said that “North Korea’s old medical infrastructure could make this intestinal disease worse”. The official said that Seoul is ready to assist North Korea in dealing with this new outbreak, if Pyongyang is ready. South Korea has previously offered to send vaccines and other medical aid to the North to help combat its coronavirus outbreak. However, Pyongyang has not officially responded.