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SEOUL, May 17 (Bernama) -- North Korea reported six additional deaths Tuesday amid a surge in suspected COVID-19 cases, as it deployed its military to supply medicine to pharmacies in Pyongyang, Yonhap news agency reported.
According to the information of the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters, over 269,510 people showed symptoms of fever and six deaths were reported as of 6pm Monday, raising the total number of fatalities to 56 amid the epidemic, citing the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
North Korea has stepped up efforts to immediately fix "deviations" in the supply of medicine and mobilised its military to stabilise the supply of medicine in its capital city as ordered by leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week.
"On the special orders of the WPK Central Military Commission, the military medical field of the People's Army urgently deployed its powerful forces to all pharmacies in Pyongyang City and began to supply medicines under the 24-hour service system," the KCNA said. WPK refers to the North's powerful ruling Workers' Party of Korea.
Pharmaceutical factories across the country have increased their production and some 11,000 officials, teachers and students of medical institutions across the country have been mobilised to examine and treat people with fevers, the KCNA said.
The total number of fever cases stood at more than 1.48 million as of 6pm Monday, of which more than 819,090 had fully recovered and at least 663,910 were being treated, it reported.
Last Thursday, North Korea reported its first COVID-19 case after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years. In response, Pyongyang declared the implementation of the "maximum emergency" virus control system.