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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has declared his country’s victory over COVID-19, Reuters reported.

Kim ordered the lifting of maximum anti-epidemic measures imposed in May, though adding that North Korea must maintain a "steel-strong anti-epidemic barrier and intensifying the anti-epidemic work until the end of the global health crisis," North Korea's KCNA news agency reported on Thursday.

North Korea has never confirmed how many people caught COVID.

Instead, it has reported daily numbers of patients with fever, a tally that rose to some 4.77 million. But it has registered no new such cases since July 29.

Kim made his declaration in a speech on Wednesday at a meeting on COVID policy with thousands of unmasked officials sitting indoors, according to footage from state broadcasters.

Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, also addressed the gathering and said the young leader himself had suffered from fever symptoms, according to KCNA, indicating for the first time that he was likely infected with the virus.

The World Health Organization has cast doubts on North Korea's assertions.

North Korea's declaration on COVID comes despite no known vaccine program. Instead, it says it relied on lockdowns, domestically produced medicines, and what Kim called the "advantageous Korean-style socialist system."

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