North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained below 20 for the second consecutive day, according to its state media Thursday.
The number of people who newly showed symptoms of fever over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day stood at 11, the state-run Korean Central Broadcasting Station said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.
It did not provide information on whether additional deaths have been reported. As of July 5, the death toll stood at 74, with the fatality rate at 0.002 percent.
The total number of fever cases since late April had come to over 4.77 million as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, of which 99.99 percent had recovered and 228 are being treated, it added.
The North's daily fever tally has been on a downward trend after peaking at over 392,920 on May 15. The figure dropped below 100 on Sunday.
"Efforts are directed to the work of scientific research institutes for making material and technical preparations to cope with any future threat and challenge," the official Korean Central News Agency said later in an English-language article. "Relevant units push ahead with the research for establishing a test method of our own style to differentiate between variants of the malignant virus."
It added that authorities are working to establish a nationwide "nucleic acid test network" and a unified state supervision and control system.
Pyongyang disclosed its first COVID-19 case on May 12, after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years, and implemented nationwide lockdowns. (Yonhap)