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Monday, May 16, 2022, 09:23
COVID-19: DPRK's Kim orders military to 'stabilize' drug supply
By Agencies
Monday, May 16, 2022, 09:23 By Agencies

In this photo provided by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea government, the DPRK's leader Kim Jong-un (center) visits a pharmacy in Pyongyang on May 15, 2022. (KOREAN CENTRAL NEW AGENCY / KOREA NEWS SERVICE VIA AP)

SEOUL / SINGAPORE / HANOI / WELLINGTON / NEW DELHI / SUVA - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's leader Kim Jong-un guided an emergency politburo meeting and ordered the military be used to stabilize the supply of medicines in Pyongyang as the country battles its first confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, state media reported on Monday.

The government had ordered the distribution of its national medicine reserves but Kim said the drugs procured by the state are not reaching people in a timely and accurate manner through pharmacies, according to the report.

Kim ordered that the "powerful forces" of the army's medical corps be deployed to "immediately stabilize the supply of medicines in Pyongyang City."

KCNA also reported that Kim visited pharmacies located near the Taedong River in Pyongyang to find out about the supply and sales of drugs.

Kim said pharmacies are not well-equipped to perform their functions smoothly, there are no adequate drug storage areas other than the showcases, and the salespeople were not equipped with proper sanitary clothing.

The DPRK reported 392,920 more people with fever symptoms, with eight new deaths, KCNA said.

A girl walks past a poster at a vaccination centre in New Delhi on April 10, 2022, after government announced the paid precaution dose against the coronavirus to be available for everyone above 18 years of age at private vaccination centers. (MONEY SHARMA / AFP)


India's COVID-19 tally rose to 43,123,801 on Monday, as 2,202 new cases were registered during the past 24 hours across the country, showed the health ministry's latest data.

Besides, 27 deaths from the pandemic registered across the country since Sunday morning took the total death toll to 524,241.

New Zealand

New Zealand recorded five more deaths and 7,061 new community cases of COVID-19, slightly higher than last week with the rolling average up more than 200 from a week ago, the ministry of health said on Monday.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers is 7,702.

Among the new community infections, 2,413 were reported in the largest city Auckland, the ministry said in a statement.


Samoa reported 358 new community cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total number of cases in the island nation to 11,671 on Monday.

According to the newspaper Samoa Observer, Samoa's Ministry of Health confirmed that all the new COVID-19 community cases were recorded from May 10 to 12.

There were no deaths recorded during the same period with Samoa's COVID-19-related death toll currently standing at 24.

A notice warning people not to gather in groups larger than five persons as part of restrictions to hald the spread of the coronavirus is displayed at Raffles Place financial business district in Singapore on Jan 4, 2022. (ROSLAN RAHMAN / AFP)


Singapore reported 2,651 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total tally to 1,242,884.

Of the new cases, 356 cases were detected through PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and 2,295 through ART (antigen rapid test) tests, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health.

One death was reported from COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total death toll to 1,363, the ministry said.

Passengers wait for transportation outside the arrival hall of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi on March 15, 2022, as Vietnam announced the return of a visa exemption policy for 13 countries in an effort to kickstart its tourism sector. (NHAC NGUYEN / AFP)


Vietnam recorded 1,550 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, down by 46 from Sunday, according to its Ministry of Health.

Among the new infections, only two were imported and the rest were domestically transmitted in 48 provinces and cities.

The Vietnamese capital Hanoi was the pandemic hotspot with 437 new cases recorded on Monday, followed by the northern Bac Ninh province with 98 and the northern Yen Bai province with 76.

The infections brought the total tally to 10,698,180 with 43,067 deaths. Nationwide, as many as 9,359,763 COVID-19 patients, or more than 87 percent of the infections, have so far recovered.

More than 217 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the country, including nearly 197.1 million shots on people aged 18 and above, said the ministry.

Vietnam has by far gone through four COVID-19 waves of increasing scale, complication, and infectivity. As of Monday, it has registered nearly 10.7 million locally transmitted COVID-19 cases since the start of the current wave of infections in April 2021, said the health ministry.

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