A photo of Hoeryong taken in 2013 (Raymond Cunningham, Flickr, Creative Commons)

North Korea continues to put out daily statistics indicating declining fever cases, but in certain regions of the country, suspected cases of COVID-19 appear to be rising.

A Daily NK source in North Hamgyong Province said Monday that COVID-19 cases have recently been rising in Hoeryong. 

“The government has said fever cases are declining, but there has once again been an increase in fever cases among people with weak immune systems,” he said.

According to the source, new suspected cases of COVID-19 in Hoeryong were dropping as of late May, but they have recently begun to climb again.

Just as many people in the city complain of non-fever symptoms such as sore throats, coughing, headaches and diarrhea as they do of high fevers, he added.

In fact, from June 2 to June 13, suspected COVID-19 cases occurred in about half the households in one inminban (people’s unit) in the city’s Mangyang-dong neighborhood. About 10 people have been suffering from fevers, while another 30 or so are suffering from symptoms similar to the flu without any fevers.

In another inminban in the city’s Yusong-dong neighborhood, about 40 people have come down with symptoms since early June. About 20 have fevers, while the rest have other symptoms, including sore throats, coughs and diarrhea.

Recently, the city’s authorities have been providing anti-fever medications to people suffering from fevers. The authorities are advising people who are suffering from other kinds of symptoms to gargle salt water.

Meanwhile, the authorities are telling people suffering from nasal congestion to first concoct a solution of boiled water, half a spoon of salt, and half a spoon of baking soda and then snort it through their noses before spitting it out through their mouths. 

The authorities have been widely promoting folk remedies since COVID-19 began to spread, the source said. 

“In fact, government officials are becoming laughingstocks because they tell people to drink salt water boiled with willow leaf rather than provide the new drugs people really need,” he added.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.

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Lee Chae Un is one of Daily NK's full-time journalists. She can be reached at dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.