North Korea has opted to lift its Covid-19 restrictions despite recording almost 100,00 cases each day.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) have questioned the country’s reports of “progress” however, instead assuming that Pyongyang’s Covid crisis is actually worsening.

Despite no access to data, the WHO are sceptical over state media claims that cases of coronavirus are falling.

The country, which announced its first Covid case on May 12, claimed the outbreak is under control, but WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan questioned that belief.

“We assume the situation is getting worse not better,” he said, acknowledging, though, that the secretive totalitarian state had provided very limited information.

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has tight control on the media in the country

Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s lead on Covid-19, meanwhile said the country had registered more than three million suspected cases, although the official accounts only mention cases of “fever”.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported on Thursday (June 2) some 96,600 “fevered cases” in 24 hours, for a total of 3.8 million cases since late April.

No new deaths were announced, with 69 fatalities as of late last week.

It was the third consecutive daily tally of less than 100,000, down from a high of 390,000 daily cases in mid-May, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.

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Covid-19 cases reached a high of 390,000 daily cases in mid-May in North Korea
Covid-19 cases reached a high of 390,000 in a single day in mid-May in North Korea

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Despite having one of the worst health systems in the world, KCNA reported that more than 95% of cases had recovered.

North Korea has also rejected jabs offered by the WHO and has not vaccinated any of its roughly 25 million population.

Ryan said: “We have offered vaccines on three separate occasions. We continue to offer.”

He added that the UN health agency was working with China and South Korea in a bid to get aid in, hailing “a positive attitude towards trying to deal with this problem.”

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