North Korea on Monday announced eight new deaths and another 392,920 people with "fever" after admitting for the first time last week that it was battling a COVID-19 epidemic, Reuters and the Associated Press reported.

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However, it is not clear from the reported data how many of the people tested positive for covid.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is chairing an emergency meeting of the Politburo and has ordered the army to be used to stabilize drug supplies to Pyongyang, state media reported.

Experts fear the virus could devastate a country with limited medical supplies and no vaccination program.

The government has ordered the withdrawal of drugs from the national reserve, but the North Korean leader said the drugs did not reach pharmacies in a timely manner.

That is why Kim Jong Un asked the army to intervene to stabilize supplies.

North Korea, which recognized first cases of coronavirus, reports 21 deaths from "fever"

The state news agency CCNA reported that Kim had visited pharmacies near the Tedong River to familiarize himself with the situation.

He found that pharmacies were not well equipped, did not have enough storage space, and vendors did not wear appropriate sanitary clothing.

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