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  • An ‘immortal potion of love’ – North Korea describes COVID-19 jab

    An ‘immortal potion of love’ – North Korea describes COVID-19 jab

    North Korea has started its vaccination programme. The COVID-19 vaccinations have been described as an ‘immortal potion of love’ by leader Kim Jong Un, reports Radio Free Asia (RFA).

    COVID-19 Vaccines are currently only for soldiers

    At the moment, the COVID-19 jabs are reserved for the country’s soldiers that are working on national construction products. RFA received details from two anonymous sources who described how broadcast vehicles play messages at vaccination sites.

    The messages highlight how the vaccines are a ‘gracious gift’ from Jong Un. 

    “They play loud political propaganda messages as the soldiers get injected with the vaccines from China. They are calling it a ‘vaccination of love from the Highest Dignity’”,

    an unnamed government official told RFA.

    A resident confirmed to RFA that a broadcast vehicle that appeared at a vaccination site proclaimed greatness for Jong Un who ‘prepared’ them for the ‘immortal potion of love’.

    On 12 May, North Korea confirmed its first COVID-19 case. Jong Un criticised officials in North Korea for their ‘poor response’ to the virus. Since then, North Korea has maintained that its COVID-19 wave of infections is subsiding.

    Some residents in North Korea are upset over not receiving the jab

    In 2021, North Korea rejected almost three million doses of the Sinovac vaccine from China. This week, President of the United States Joe Biden said the country did not respond to his offer of COVID-19 vaccines.

    While some soldiers seemed to be happy about the vaccination programme, citizens are unhappy. The unhappiness stems from the fact that they have yet to receive the vaccine. 

    On Thursday, 26 May, a total of 69 people died due to COVID-19 in North Korea.

    SA strains of Omicron labelled ‘variants of concern’ in Europe

    Two Omicron sub-variants also detected in South Africa have been labelled ‘variants of concern’ by health officials in Europe which might increase hospital admissions. In March, two Omicron sub-variants known simply as BA.4 and BA.5 were discovered in South Africa but experts said they would not cause a spike in Covid-19 cases. 

    In a report, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said that variants BA.4 and BA.5 could lead to an increase in Covid-19 cases across the continent. The Centre also warned that this could increase hospital admissions and pressure in Intensive Care Units (ICU). 

    Both new variants of concern can evade immunity awarded by both a previous Covid-19 infection and a vaccine, ‘particularly if this is waned over time’, reportedly. Read the full story here.

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