North Korea has declared a “severe national emergency” in the country after it confirmed its first-ever case of Covid-19.
According to the reports, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has ordered all cities to be put under lockdown after the nuclear-armed nation reported Covid-19 cases for the first time in the last two years ever since the pandemic began.
“A serious situation has been created due to the introduction of a stealth omicron mutant virus into our precincts. At a party meeting Thursday attended by Kim, authorities elevated the country’s national quarantine measures to a maximum emergency,” Korean Central News Agency added.
Reportedly, a few people in Pyongyang have contracted the Omicron variant. However, there are no details pertaining to the numbers or possible sources of infection.
Kim Jong Un has held a crisis politburo meeting to discuss the outbreak and announced they would implement a “maximum emergency” virus control system. The North Korean leader has also vowed to “eliminate” the virus within the shortest period of time, the state media said on Thursday.
“He assured us that because of the people’s high political awareness… we will surely overcome the emergency and win the emergency quarantine project,” the state media said.
Kim has also called for tighter border controls and lockdown measures, telling citizens “to completely block the spread of the malicious virus by thoroughly blocking their areas in all cities and counties across the country”.
All business and production activities will be organised, so each work unit is “isolated” to prevent the spread of disease, KCNA added.
Meanwhile, North Korea has turned down vaccination offers from the World Health Organization, China and Russia.