North Korea announced Thursday, June 16, through its official news agency KCNA, the spread of an “acute enteric epidemic” in the South Hwanghae region.
After Covid-19 and monkey pox, a new health threat in sight? The official North Korean news agency announced this Thursday, June 16 on television the spread of a new “acute enteric epidemic”, or an intestinal disease, in the south-west of the country.
Specifically in South Hwanghae Province. Kim Jong-un, for his part, urged North Korean public health officials to “contain the outbreak as soon as possible.” No additional details were given by the press agency concerning the symptoms of this disease, nor even on the requested modes that it was transmitted.
However, KCNA announced that medicine, donated by the family of the North Korean dictator, will be distributed to “more than 800 families suffering from this serious epidemic which has broken out in some areas of South Hwanghae province” suggesting that ”At least 1600 people would be affected by this disease.
Sign of the potential seriousness of the situation, the sister of the North Korean leader was cited among a group of senior officials who personally donated drugs to fight this epidemic.
The information disseminated, and especially the choice not to disseminate more of it, has fueled speculation as to the real nature of the disease. It could indeed be cholera or typhoid.
A potential food disaster is added to the announcement of this disease, the province of South Hwanghae being one of the main agricultural regions of North Korea. South Korea has offered help to Pyongyang, which has so far given no response.
A non-existent health system, overwhelmed by Covid-19
North Korea announced its first case of Covid-19 in May and declared a “maximum state of emergency”. The authorities, who called this disease: “the fever”, had announced that the latter had reached 4.5 million people. Note that none of the 25 million citizens of its population is vaccinated.
North Korea may face another hurdle in its attempts to contain this new disease. Its health system is on a last stand, the equipment is dilapidated, the intensive care units: from another age, when they exist. The country is totally unable to test its population, refusing in turn, all the vaccine proposals that have been made to it, whether they come from South Korea, Russia or China.
In addition, North Korea has no medicine to treat covid and has not given a response to the South Korean proposal to provide it.