North Korea reports first Covid-19 case, declares emergency

State media said Thursday that North Korea had confirmed its first-ever case of COVID-19 and declared a “severe national emergency,” with leader Kim Jong Un vowing to “eliminate” the virus.

Since the start of the epidemic in 2020, the impoverished, nuclear-armed country has maintained a strict coronavirus blockade along its borders.

According to the official Korean Central News Agency, samples retrieved from fever-stricken patients in the capital were “consistent with” the virus’s highly transmissible Omicron variant.


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