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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declares victory in battle against COVID-19

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un declares victory in battle against novel coronavirus, orders lifting of maximum containment measures imposed in May state media said on Thursday.

North Korea has not disclosed the number of confirmed virus infections, but since 29 July, international aid agencies say it has limited testing capacity, prompting new No suspected cases have been reported.

Kim Jong-un said that while the pandemic measures will be lifted to the maximum extent possible, North Korea will "maintain a steel-strong quarantine barrier and intensify its quarantine work until the global health crisis is over." said there was a need. State news agency KCNA reported.

Analysts say authoritarian North Korea has used the pandemic to tighten social controls, but its declared victory will restore trade hampered by border closures and other restrictions. said it could be a prelude to

Observers also say it may pave the way for North Korea to conduct its first nuclear weapons test since 2017.

An unprecedented miracle,” KCNA reported, citing another official, comparing it to other countries.

North Korea reported the number of people with fever instead of confirmed cases. These daily case counts peaked at over 392,920 on May 15, prompting health experts to warn of an inevitable crisis.

The World Health Organization cast doubt on North Korea's claims, saying last month it believed the situation was getting worse, not better, in the absence of independent data.

Pyongyang's declaration of victory came despite not deploying a known vaccine program. Instead, the country says it relies on lockdowns, homegrown remedies, and what Kim called a "favorable Korean-style socialist system."

North Korea has said it is conducting intensive health screenings nationwide, including daily PCR tests on water collected in border areas as part of the measures.

It also said it is developing new methods to better detect the virus and its subspecies, as well as other infectious diseases such as monkeypox.

Kim Jong-un's sister, Kim Yo-jong, said the North Korean leader himself was suffering from a fever, and she blamed leaflets from South Korea for causing the outbreak. She reported KCNA.

"He was seriously ill with a high fever, but he could not lie down for a moment thinking about the people he had to take care of until the end in the face of the epidemic war. '' she said in a speech praising his efforts.