North Korea drops mask mandate as Kim Jong-un declares victory

North Korea drops mask mandate as Kim Jong-un declares victory

This picture taken on June 10, 2022 and released from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on June 11 shows workers disinfecting the interior of Pyongyang International Airport as part of measures against the COVID 19 coronaviruses. STRAFP SEOUL WELLINGTON MANILA -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has dropped a face mask mandate and other social distancing rules as leader Kim Jong-un declared victory over COVID 19 this week, state media said on Saturday.

Kim presided over a COVID 19 meeting on Wednesday and ordered the lifting of the maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, adding that the DPRK must maintain a strong anti-epidemic barrier. Under the shift to a normal anti-epidemic system from a top-level system, the DPRK removed the mask-wearing obligation and other rules, including the limit on service time of commercial and public facilities in all areas except border regions, according to the official KCNA.

The DPRK recommended that people with respiratory symptoms keep wearing masks and to keep vigilance against abnormal things that Pyongyang has cited as the cause of infections.

A man wearing a face mask walks on a street during a nationwide COVID 19 lockdown in Wellington on August 18, 2021. The Ministry of Health said on Saturday 3,650 new community cases of COVID 19 were reported by MARTY MELVILLE AFP New Zealand.

The seven-day rolling average of community case numbers of COVID 19 in New Zealand is now 4,418. The ministry also reported 546 current hospitalizations, including 10 cases in intensive care units or high dependency units on Saturday.

There were 92 new cases that have recently traveled overseas, according to the ministry.

New Zealand has reported 1,670, 483 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the epidemic.

A woman is being inoculated with Sinovac COVID 19 vaccine on April 16, 2021 at a vaccination hub in Taguig City, Philippines. ROUELLE UMALI XINHUA The Philippines reported 4,661 new COVID 19 infections on Friday, bringing the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,823, 084.

The Department of Health said the number of active cases jumped to 40,315, the highest since March 30, and 28 more patients died from COVID- 19 complications, pushing the death toll to 60,944.

Metro Manila had 1,489 new cases. DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that new infections in Metro Manila have slowed, while the number in most areas in the country is still on a steady upward trend. Vergeire noted that the DOH also noted an increase in hospital admissions.

The Philippines reported its highest COVID 19 single-day tally of 39,004 new cases on January 15. The country, with a population of around 110 million, has fully vaccinated over 71.5 million people.