COVID-19: Experts express disbelief as North Korea reports unbelievable fatality rate of 0.002%

Edited By: Moohita Kaur Garg
Pyongyang, North Korea Updated: May 27, 2022, 07:17 PM(IST)

Experts say that because of the low number of vaccines, significant numbers of undernourished people and a lack of facilities to both test and treat cases, the impoverished country should have suffered a far greater number of deaths. Photograph:( AFP )

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Other countries, even the richest ones, cannot match this feat in battling a disease that claimed 6 million lives worldwide

North Korea has reported an impressive feat. As per the latest figures reported, 3.3 million people reported being sick with "fevers" yet only 69 people died in the country.

As per a report by the Associated Press, if all of these 3.3 million cases were in fact COVID-19 cases, it means that the country only had a fatality rate of 0.002 per cent. Other countries, even the richest ones, cannot match this feat in battling a disease that claimed 6 million lives worldwide.

Also read | North Korea says it is witnessing a 'stable' downward trend in coronavirus cases

However, two weeks after the nation acknowledged its first coronavirus outbreak, North Korea's claims are being met with widespread disbelief.

Experts say that because of the low number of vaccines, significant numbers of undernourished people and a lack of facilities to both test and treat cases, the impoverished country should have suffered a far greater number of deaths.

Watch | Over 2 million 'Fever' cases reported in North Korea | COVID supplies flown in from China

The country's secretiveness makes it very unlikely that anyone on the outside would be able to confirm the true scale of the outbreak.

It's also possible that the nation overstated the outbreak in order to maintain control over the country's 26 million inhabitants.

According to some observers, North Korea is deliberately underreporting deaths in order to protect its leader, Kim Jong Un, at all costs.

Also read | North Korea's Kim chides officials for unspecified pandemic lapse

North Korea publishes information regarding the number of new patients with fever symptoms every morning, but not for COVID-19. 

Experts feel that the majority of cases should be classified as COVID-19 because, despite a dearth of diagnostic tools, North Korean health officials can identify the symptoms of fevers produced by other infectious diseases.

The daily fever tally in North Korea peaked at around 400,000 early last week but has since dropped to roughly 100,000.

After three days without a fatality, it added another one on Friday.

(With inputs from agencies)

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