North Korea on May 21 reported more than 200,000 new patients suffering from fever for a fifth consecutive day, as the country fought its first confirmed coronavirus outbreak.

COVID-19 is on the rise again in the Americas as many countries have abandoned measures like masking and social distancing and many lag in vaccination rates, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on May 18.

Shanghai set out plans on May 16 for the end of a painful COVID-19 lockdown that has lasted more than six weeks, heavily bruising China’s economy, and for the return of more normal life from June 1.

North Korea’s admission that it is battling an “explosive” COVID-19 outbreak raised concerns that the virus could devastate a country with an under-resourced health system, limited testing capabilities, and no vaccine program.

President Joe Biden on May 12 commemorated the death of 1 million people in the United States from COVID-19, marking what he called “a tragic milestone” and urging Americans to “remain vigilant” amid the ongoing pandemic.

North Korea reported the country’s first COVID-19 outbreak on May 12, calling it the “gravest national emergency” and ordering a national lockdown, with state media saying an Omicron variant had been detected in the capital, Pyongyang.

The COVAX global vaccine-sharing program has delivered 1 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses, one of the organizations which manages it said on January 15.

The Omicron variant of the coronavirus is spreading faster than the Delta variant and is causing infections in people already vaccinated or who have recovered from the Covid-19 disease, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on December 20.

Most of the 43 Covid-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant identified in the United States so far were in people who were fully vaccinated, and a third of them had received a booster dose, according to a U.S. report published on December 10.

Eighty percent of Americans 12 and older have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose, White House coronavirus coordinator Jeff Zients said on November 17, highlighting a promising milestone in efforts to curb the spread of the deadly virus.