COVID in North Korea
COVID in North Korea iStock

North Korea said on Tuesday it is witnessing a "stable" downward trend in its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, Reuters reported, citing the official KCNA news agency.

The country reported less than 200,000 new patients with fever symptoms for a third consecutive day on Tuesday.

At least 134,510 people newly showed fever symptoms as of Monday evening, taking the total number of such cases to 2.95 million since late April, said KCNA. The death toll stood at 68.

KCNA said the country was reporting "successes" in the fight against the COVID outbreak.

"In a few days after the maximum emergency epidemic prevention system was activated, the nation-wide 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," the news agency said.

The North said it was expanding the production of essential medicine supplies, though it did not elaborate exactly what types were being produced.

North Korea earlier this month reported its first deaths following a rapid spread of fever across the nation.

With the reports, the country in essence acknowledged for the first time that a COVID-19 outbreak had been recorded in the country. North Korea had long insisted it had no single case of the virus on its territory, but that claim was being questioned by outside experts.

The COVID wave has fuelled concerns over a lack of vaccines, inadequate medical infrastructure and a potential food crisis in the country of 25 million.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un recently ordered the country’s military be used to stabilize the supply of medicines in Pyongyang amid the COVID-19 outbreak.