North Korea has reported a "stable" downward trend in its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, reporting fewer than 200,000 new patients with fever symptoms for a third consecutive day.
The COVID wave, declared on May 12, has fuelled concerns over a lack of vaccines, inadequate medical infrastructure and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million people.
A total of 134,510 people newly reported fever symptoms in the 24 hours to Monday evening, taking the total number of cases to 2.95 million since late April, the state-run KCNA news agency reported.
The official death toll stands at 68.
KCNA said the country was reporting "successes" in its fight against the outbreak.
"In a few days after the maximum emergency epidemic prevention system was activated, the nationwide morbidity and mortality rates have drastically decreased and the number of recovered persons increased, resulting in effectively curbing and controlling the spread of the pandemic disease and maintaining the clearly stable situation," KCNA reported.
North Korea also said it was expanding the production of essential medicine supplies, though it did not elaborate exactly what types were being produced.
Apparently deprived of testing supplies, North Korea has not confirmed the total number of people testing positive for the coronavirus.
Instead, health authorities report the number with fever symptoms, making it difficult to assess the scale of the COVID wave, experts have said.
North Korea said authorities were distributing food and medicine across the country, with military medics deployed to help distribute drugs and conduct examinations.
South Korea and the United States have offered to help North Korea fight the pandemic, including with vaccines, but Pyongyang has not yet responded.
Australian Associated Press
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