North Korea orders nationwide lockdown after first confirmed case of Covid-19
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a strict lockdown in all cities after an Omicron outbreak in the capital, Pyongyang. State media reported this news but did not state the number of cases.
Official Korean Central News Agency said, “A serious situation has been created due to the introduction of a stealth omicron mutant virus into our precincts”. They added that Kim ordered “all cities and counties across the country to thoroughly lockdown their areas,” to “completely block the transmission of malicious virus.”
The official Korean Central News Agency said tests of samples collected on Sunday, 8 May, from an unspecified number of people with fevers in the capital, Pyongyang, confirmed they were infected with the omicron variant. In response to this, the North Korean leader called for a thorough lockdown of cities and counties and said workplaces should be isolated by units to block the virus from spreading.
Leader Kim Jong Un, along with the top officials, held a crisis politburo meeting on Thursday to discuss the outbreak. He said that they would implement the “maximum emergency epidemic prevention system”. He also added that the reason for the discussion was to eliminate the root of the disease in the shortest span of time.
Experts believe that North Korea has not vaccinated any of its 25 million people, and even rejected the offer of vaccination from the World Health Organization, Russia, and China.
The crumbling health infrastructure would be a great struggle to deal with the Covid – 19 outbreak in the country.
North Korea is surrounded by countries that are still struggling with the Omicron outbreaks. South Korea which has the highest rate of vaccination has recently eased all Covid – 19 restrictions. China is battling various Omicron outbreaks and has been under strict lockdown for weeks.