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White House Says Currently No Plans To Share COVID-19 Shots With North Korea Battling Outbreak

  • The Biden administration says it currently has no plans to share COVID-19 vaccines with North Korea, Reuters reported citing White House press secretary Jen Psaki. However, it supported providing aid to North Korea.
  • North Korea reported its first COVID-19 outbreak, calling it the “gravest national emergency” and ordering a national lockdown.
  • The state media said an omicron variant had been detected in Pyongyang, North Korea’s Capital.
  • Amid limited testing capabilities in North Korea, the numbers released probably represent a small fraction of the infections, leading to thousands of deaths in one of only two countries in the world without a COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
  • About 187,800 people are being treated in isolation after a fever of unidentified origin has “explosively spread nationwide” since late April, the official KCNA news agency reported.
  • Last year, North Korea said it had developed its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) equipment for COVID tests. 
  • It declined vaccine supplies from the COVAX global sharing program and China.
  • North Korea has not publicized any new calls for help to combat the outbreak, but some observers believe that the disclosure was a signal that the government would soon accept vaccines or other aid.
  • The office of South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said it intends to help, including by providing vaccines, and that specific measures would be discussed with Pyongyang.
  • Photo by hakan german from Pixabay

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