Standing tall in bright red hazmat suits, five North Korean health workers stride towards an ambulance to do battle with a COVID-19 outbreak that – in the presumed absence of vaccines – the country is using antibiotics and home remedies to treat. The isolated state is one of only two countries yet to begin a vaccination campaign and, until last week, had insisted it was COVID-free. Now North Korea is mobilizing forces including the army and a public information campaign to combat what authorities have acknowledged is an “explosive” outbreak.
Leader Kim Jong Un ordered North Korea’s military to stabilize distribution of COVID-19 medicine in the capital, Pyongyang, in the battle against the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, state media said.
In an aim to create a strong domestic supply chain, President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that calls for federal agencies to purchase “essential drugs” and medical supplies that are produced in the United States, rather than from abroad as is the current practice.
Medical supply company Baxter International agreed to buy Sanofi’s Seprafilm unit, which makes specialist surgical products, for $350 million in cash.
Baxter International Inc. was named in a complaint for improperly marketing opioid drugs and revealed an internal probe into the medical supplier’s accounting, sending the company’s shares down.