North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called his country’s reaction to the first officially confirmed outbreak of COVID-19 “immature”, accusing government officials of inadequacy and inertia when the country was gripped by fever, state media reported on Wednesday.

North Korea reported another 232,880 people with symptoms of fever and six more deaths after the country’s first recognition of the COVID outbreak last week.

It did not report how many people tested positive for COVID-19.

Leading a meeting of the Politburo meeting of the ruling Labor Party on Tuesday, Kim said that the “immaturity of the state in the fight against the crisis” has increased “complexity and difficulty” in the fight against a pandemic, when “time is life”, according to KCNA.

Since the first recognition of the COVID-19 outbreak in the north, 1.72 million patients have reported symptoms of fever, including 62 deaths as of Tuesday evening.

Amid concerns about the lack of vaccines and proper medical infrastructure in the isolated country, the KCNA said health officials had developed a COVID-19 treatment guide to prevent drug overdoses and other ill-treatment that led to many deaths.

The guide includes individual treatments for different types of patients, but state media does not specify which drugs are included in treatment plans.

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