SEOUL, May 16 (Reuters) – Leader Kim Jong Un has ordered North Korea’s military to stabilise distribution of COVID-19 medicine in the capital, Pyongyang, in the battle on the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, state media said.
Last week brought the North’s first acknowledgment of an “explosive” outbreak, with experts warning it could devastate a country with limited medical supplies and no vaccine programme.
Drugs procured by the state were not reaching people quickly or accurately, Kim told an emergency politburo meeting on Sunday, before visiting pharmacies near the capital’s Taedong River, state news agency KCNA said.
Kim ordered immediate deployment of the “powerful forces” of the army’s medical corps to “stabilise the supply of medicines in Pyongyang City,” it added.
Although authorities had ordered distribution of national reserves of medicine, pharmacies were not well-equipped to perform their functions smoothly, Kim added, the agency said.