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North Korea announces outbreak of intestinal sickness

North Korea says it is dealing with an outbreak of an unidentified intestinal sickness, adding to the strain caused by the spread of Covid-19.

The country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has ordered quarantine measures be implemented.

It said he sent medicine to Haeju city to help patients suffering from the “acute enteric epidemic”.

Health experts suspect the illness could be typhoid or cholera.

North Korea declared a state of emergency in May after it said millions of people were experiencing “fever”, believed to be untested Covid-19 cases.

It has not reported the number of people affected by the latest sickness outbreak, or elaborated on what the disease is, but enteric refers to the gastrointestinal tract.

An official at South Korea’s Unification Ministry handling inter-Korean affairs told Reuters news agency that the government suspects the outbreak to be cholera or typhoid.

South Hwanghae province, where Haeju is located, is North Korea’s main agricultural region, which could worsen the country’s widespread food shortage.

Editing by Omotola Oguneye