North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and other top officials met on Sunday, according to state media, to consider easing stringent anti-epidemic rules while continuing highly contested claims that the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak is fading.

The North’s Politburo meeting appears to indicate that it may soon lift a series of draconian curbs enforced after its admission of the omicron outbreak earlier in the month out of anxiety for its foodstuff and economic circumstances.

As per the official Korean Central News Agency, Kim and other Politburo members “gave a favourable assessment of the epidemic condition being handled and improved around the country.”

According to KCNA, they also “considered the subject of effectively and rapidly coordinating and implementing anti-epidemic rules and guidelines in light of the current stable anti-epidemic environment.”

North Korea reported 89,500 new fever patients on Sunday, bringing the number of fever sufferers in the country to 3.4 million. Other deaths were not noted. The country’s most current number of deaths was 69, putting its fatality rate at 0.002 percent, a figure that no other country, even wealthy ones, has seen in the fight against COVID-19.

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