Jan. 6 (UPI) — North Korea may very well be misreporting the variety of COVID-19 assessments being carried out nationwide to the World Well being Group, based on a South Korean media report.

Information service Dailian reported Wednesday it’s unlikely the Celebration Congress, an occasion attended by 7,000 folks sitting in shut proximity within the April 25 Home of Tradition, occurred with out testing each particular person. The group included politicians representing 9.1 million Korean Staff’ Celebration members and observers.

In accordance with statistics from the World Well being Group, a complete of 766 folks in North Korea had been examined from Dec. three to 10, 777 folks from Dec. 11 to 17, and 787 folks from Dec. 18 to 24. It’s estimated a complete of two,669 folks had been examined from Dec. 1 to Dec. 24, a far fewer variety of folks than on the Celebration Congress.

The numbers North Korea has submitted to the WHO may very well be right, however it’s extra seemingly Pyongyang is underreporting the variety of folks examined, based on Dailian.

State media had claimed Celebration politicians started to reach within the capital in “late December,” leaving their hometowns as early as Dec. 20. If assessments did happen, they might have been reported to the WHO, based on the report.

North Korea additionally revealed pictures of politicians on the Celebration Congress not sporting face masks and never training social distancing within the indoor area. The regime raised its alert degree to the very best of three levels in December, making it unlikely a big gathering might have taken place with out assessments of all 7,000 contributors, based on the South Korean media report.

Choi Jung-hoon, a North Korean defector and professor at Korea College’s Public Coverage Analysis Institute within the South, advised Japanese newspaper Sankei Shimbun the fabrication of statistics is an “open secret” in North Korea. Choi, who labored as a medical physician within the North, additionally stated he estimates greater than 30,000 folks within the North had been contaminated with the coronavirus.

The WHO doesn’t have direct entry to the North Korean inhabitants. The company reviews numbers accredited by Pyongyang, based on the United Nations.