(ATTN: UPDATES with more info from 6th para; ADDS photo)
SEOUL, June 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's new suspected COVID-19 cases remained below 20,000 for the fifth consecutive day, according to its state media Thursday.
More than 13,100 people showed symptoms of fever over a 24-hour period until 6 p.m. the previous day, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, citing data from the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters.
It did not provide information on whether additional deaths have been reported. Since June 15, the death toll has remained at 73, with a fatality rate of 0.002 percent.
The total number of fever cases since late April came to over 4.68 million as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, of which more than 4.66 million have recovered, and at least 22,620 are being treated, it added.
The country's daily fever tally has been on a downward trend after peaking at over 392,920 on May 15.
Efforts to improve the country's overall medical services are under way amid its ongoing "anti-epidemic campaign," according to the KCNA.
"Central hospitals enhance the roles of their rapid collective diagnosis teams to take immediate, specialized treatment measures against any abnormal symptoms suspected to be the malignant pandemic disease," it said in an English-language article.
It added that medical teams from central hospitals that have been sent to southwestern areas, where another infectious disease outbreak was reported last week, are taking measures to "block all infection routes."
Last Thursday, the North reported an outbreak of an "acute enteric epidemic" in Haeju City and Kangryong County in South Hwanghae Province near the border with South Korea. It did not specify what the disease is.
On May 12, North Korea disclosed its first COVID-19 case after claiming to be coronavirus-free for over two years.