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North Korea accuses Covid-19 outbreak of "rare item" near South Korea border

South Korea, Seoul (CNN)North Korea said on Friday that two residents said, "According to state media," near the Korean border " It's unusual. "

Poor countries have publicly admitted that the virus broke the border for the first time in May, but opaque government and isolation from the world.

North Korea's emergency epidemic prevention headquarters, which was investigating the outbreak, said on Friday that it began in the Ipho-ri area of ​​Kumgang County, north of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates the country from South Korea. .. ..

An 18-year-old soldier and a 5-year-old child in the area were identified as the first two positive cases of this outbreak and began to show symptoms after contact with "abnormal items." According to a survey report released by the state-owned news agency KCNA, a hill near the border in early April.

The report did not identify what the "abnormal items" were, but "be careful of the anomalous items coming from wind and other climatic phenomena and balloons" along the southern border of North Korea. He emphasized the need to deal with it.

Although people can be infected by contact with contaminated surfaces and objects, the risk is generally considered low, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In late April, the Fighters for a Free North Korea (FFNK), a group of North Korean defector activists based in South Korea, sent a large balloon with anti-North Korean leaflets across the border. Insisted. The

group also said it sent balloons carrying medicines such as Tylenol and Vitamin C north during the country'sCovid-19 epidemic in June.

Both shipments were sent without the required approval from the Korean authorities.

In response to North Korea's report, the South Korean government quoted local and international health experts on low risk and denied the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through a leaflet sent from South Korea. ..

Cha Dok-chul, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Unification of South Korea, said at a briefing on Friday that the government would stop sending balloons across borders to the group as the government is working on an inter-Korean summit. He said he requested it repeatedly. South Korea's cooperation to address the outbreak of Covid-19.

Prior to May, North Korea did not recognize cases of coronavirus, but those who believe that about 25 million countries may have been saved by the virus for more than two years. Almost none.

North Korea has reported more than 4.7 million "fever cases" since it first admitted the infection, but the majority claim to have recovered completely.

It is difficult to independently verify the number of cases and the recovery rate reported by the North Korean state media due to the lack of free media in the country.

Given North Korea's dilapidated public health infrastructure, lack of testing equipment, and a poorly vaccinated population, this outbreak has sounded an international alarm.