“Severe national emergency”: North Korea reports the first corona outbreak – Kim immediately takes strict action
Created: 05/13/2022, 09:35 am
By: Momir Takac
North Korea has reported the first cases of infection since the beginning of the corona pandemic.
Several regions in the isolated country are therefore to be cordoned off.
Seoul/Pyongyang – North Korea has been suspiciously quiet about the coronavirus since the pandemic began more than two years ago.
Although neighboring countries are struggling hard with the virus - in China, for example, Shanghai is in a strict lockdown - not a single corona case has been reported from the isolated country.
But now it also seems to be happening in North Korea.
While the omicron wave has now been overcome in neighboring South Korea, state media officially reported cases of infection with Sars-CoV-2.
The capital Pyongyang was affected by the outbreak with the omicron subvariant BA.2.
First corona outbreak in North Korea: State media speak of "severe national emergency"
The state news agency KCNA said it was a "serious national emergency".
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un announced nationwide lockdowns.
According to KCNA, samples from patients who fell ill with a fever in the capital Pyongyang on Sunday matched the highly contagious omicron variant BA.2.
At a meeting, the ruling Labor Party's Politburo reportedly decided to move to a "maximum emergency epidemic prevention system."
Chaired by Kim, the participants discussed the "serious situation in connection with the introduction of the camouflaged omicron variant".
The Politburo accused the responsible authorities of lax and irresponsible handling of the quarantine rules.
Corona in North Korea: ruler Kim orders strict lockdowns
Kim called for stricter border controls and lockdown measures.
According to KCNA, the ruler urged the authorities to "completely prevent the spread of the vicious virus by thoroughly sealing off their areas in all cities and counties in North Korea."
All economic activities are organized in such a way that each production unit is "isolated" to prevent the spread of the disease.
Seoul-based specialist website
reported that areas in Pyongyang had been locked down for two days and there were reports of panic buying.
Corona in North Korea: reports of panic buying
Experts have long warned that North Korea would find it difficult to deal with an outbreak of Covid-19 due to its inadequate health system.
The country has always been skeptical about vaccine deliveries and donations.
As of Thursday, North Korea was one of the few countries in the world that had not yet reported a single infection to the WHO.
However, the information from the largely isolated country, according to which it had been corona-free up to now, was always doubted abroad.
Most recently, the country had caused outrage by launching an ICBM.