According to state media, North Korea has identified its first-ever case of Covid 19.
KNCA has reported that cases of the Omicron variant had been found in the capital of Pyongyang when samples were collected from a group of people who experienced fevers. It’s not clear how many of the people tested positive.
CNN reports that an outbreak of Covid 19 could prove dire for North Korea. The country’s dilapidated health care infrastructure is unlikely to be up to the task of treating a large number of patients with a highly infectious disease.
The is the first time that the country has acknowledged a Covid 19 case since the pandemic. Although few believe that it’s actually true since a country of 25 million people could not possibly be spared when the virus infected millions of people worldwide.
Due to the first Covid 19 case in the country, Kim Jong Un has announced a lockdown in all cities across the country and has directed the distribution of medical supplies.
Kim and the country’s political leaders got together for a meeting and agreed to implement maximum emergency anti-epidemic measures. At this stage, it is still unclear what these measures involve.
CNN further reports that North Korea’s borders have been sealed since January 2020 to keep the virus at bay, despite the knock-on effects on trade with Beijing, an economic lifeline the impoverished country needs to keep its people from going hungry.
Image credit: The New York Times