North Korea Reports First Case of COVID-19; Nationwide Lockdown Imposed

Story Highlights
  • N.Korea reports first COVID-19 case after 2 years.
  • Nationwide lockdown declared by Kim Un Jong.
  • Samples of analysed from Pyongyang confirmed infection with Omicron.

North Korea: After a hiatus of two years, Kim Jong-un’s country reported its first-ever case of COVID-19, leading to the declaration of a ‘severe national emergency’ by the supreme leader. The country was swiftly thrown into lockdown of cities and counties and workplaces that should be isolated by units to block the virus from spreading.

Sources say the size of the outbreak wasn’t known immediately. however, it is speculated to be a large scale outbreak citing the poor health care system of the country with a majority of them unvaccinated, after its government shunned vaccines offered by the U.N.-backed COVAX distribution program. According to the Korean Central News Agency, samples collected on Sunday from the capital Pyongyang confirmed they were infected with the omicron variant.

Early in 2020, before the coronavirus spread around the world, North Korea took severe steps to keep the virus at bay and described them as a matter of “national existence.” It quarantined people with symptoms resembling COVID-19, halted cross-border traffic and trade for two years, and is even believed to have ordered troops to shoot on sight any trespassers who crossed its borders.

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