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N. Korea's low death count questioned amid COVID-19 outbreak

North Korea said Friday that nearly 10 per cent of its 26 million people have fallen ill and 65 people have died amid its first COVID-19 outbreak, as outside experts question the validity of its reported fatalities and worry about a possible humanitarian crisis.

Employees of Songyo Knitwear Factory in Songyo district disinfect the work floor in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, May 18, 2022, after Kim Jong Un said Tuesday his party would treat the country's outbreak under the state emergency. North Korea said Wednesday more than a million people have already recovered from suspected COVID-19 just a week after disclosing an outbreak it appears to be trying to manage in isolation as global experts express deep concern about the public health threat. (AP Photo/Jon Chol Jin)

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This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, orange, emerging from the surface of cells, green, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)