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  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has announced a lockdown and six people are reported to have died due to a fever that has spread "explosively".

Often referred to as “the hermit state”, North Korea - after claiming to have zero Covid cases for nearly two years - on Thursday recorded its first patient and within a few hours the country seems to have been enveloped by a health crisis. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has announced a lockdown and six people are reported to have died due to a fever that has spread “explosively”, news agency Reuters reported, citing local media. Several other countries including China, Italy, and the United States have registered a surge in cases since March, with China going through one of its worst Covid outbreaks after 2020.

Here are the latest Covid developments on the global front:

  1. A day after North Korea confirmed its first-ever Covid-19 case, reports said that six people - who showed fever symptoms - including the person with the confirmed Covid-19 case have died.
  2. About 187,800 people are being reportedly treated in isolation after a fever of unidentified origin has "explosively spread nationwide". Reportedly, 350,000 people have shown signs of fever since early April, of which around 18,000 newly reported symptoms on Thursday.
  3. After announcing countrywide curbs, Kim Jong visited the anti-virus command center to check the situation and responses. The outbreak is believed to have started in the capital of Pyongyang in April.
  4. The United States has clarified that it has “no plans” to send vaccines to North Korea. However, it supported international efforts to provide aid to vulnerable people in the Covid-19 hit country.
  5. China's Beijing reported a slight increase in new Covid cases after officials denied that the city will be locked down amid growing concerns. The Chinese capital reported 50 new cases on Thursday - compared with the 46 cases on Wednesday. The country reported a total of 312 confirmed cases - out of which 227 infections were reported in China's financial hub Shanghai.
  6. Shanghai has plans to achieve “no community spread” of the coronavirus by mid-May, vice mayor Wu Qing said at a briefing on Friday, reports said.
  7. The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that Covid-19 deaths have exceeded the two million mark for countries in the European region.
  8. The second global Covid-19 summit in the US has gathered over $3 billion in new funding to fight the pandemic, according to a White House fact sheet, reported Reuters.
  9. Italy is set to donate an additional 31 million Covid-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX facility to help poorer countries.
  10. South Korea's new president Yoon Suk-yeol has pledged to provide an additional 300 million won to a global initiative to fund Covid-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines for poorer countries.

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