NORTH KOREA- State Commission of Science and Technology announced that government scientists had started the initial stage of human trials for a vaccine candidate as they join the not less than 30 coronavirus vaccines human testings worldwide joining the race to end the pandemic on Saturday according to the Korea Herald.
In a statement, it is mentioned that there is no case of coronavirus in the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, that is why the scientists need to check the shot's effectiveness and conduct trials abroad.
Thus, this raises a question on why the hermit kingdom, a nation that struggles with their health care system and relies on the world health organization for vaccines and other drugs will invest in a vaccine for COVID-19 which they claim is not affecting its citizens.
Moreover, numerous public health experts shared with the New York Times that they were skeptical of North Korea's claim that they have zero cases of coronavirus back in March.
Harvard Medical School lecturer and worked in North Korea, Kee Park, suggested that the country claims they have zero cases because they were not able to run enough testing to suffice their needs in detecting the disease.
Park added that instead of saying they do not have any cases, they should say that they have not confirmed it.
On January 30, North Korea imposed a closure on their border making it harder for outsiders to know what is happening inside the authoritarian state.
Contrary to the claims of the government, there are reports of deaths seemingly caused by COVID-19, aside from that it also includes the 200 North Korean soldiers which cause of death is COVID-19 in March, based on the information given out by the South Korean publication Daily NK, CNN reported.
The early response of North Korea is closing its borders and conduct tens of thousands of people may have prevented the outbreak to be severe compared to its neighboring countries such as South Korea and China.
Even the hermit state has some cases of the virus, it will still be difficult for them to study the efficiency of the vaccine within their borders unless there is an ongoing outbreak. They need to check whether the vaccine really works as it needs to be tested on hundreds and thousands of people exposed to the virus.
As of the moment, the world does not know about the status of North Korea against coronavirus or a vaccine trial has been completed under the hermit state's soil.
While there is still a blackout in terms of North Korea's information and claims zero cases amidst the pandemic, it is not new as other countries fail to report the exact numbers. In Mexico, they are failing to report hundreds or thousands of cases in Mexico City alone.
In Brazil, the government stopped the data sharing of COVID-19 related information in June until it was resumed by their supreme court. And insufficient testing in the United States reflects the need for testing as their numbers are lower compared to their real current status.