The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday confirmed its first COVID-19 case since the outbreak of the pandemic and activated a nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
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According to local press, the contagion was identified during the tests of samples from several patients sick with fever in Pyongyang, and the investigations revealed the presence of Omicron BA.2 variant.
After the result was revealed, DPRK leader Kim Jong-un chaired a meeting of the Workers’ Party to respond to what was considered the “most serious national emergency incident.”
Kim guided the nationwide lockdown, expressed confidence in overcoming the situation soon and called for keeping a tighter surveillance on land, sea and air borders to prevent a “security vacuum” in the nation’s defense.
The DPRK has so far been one of the few countries globally that remained without reporting COVID-19 cases, following the first report of that disease in China during 2019 and the subsequent outbreak of its pandemic in early 2020.
However, Democratic Korea has had the borders closed for two years and its authorities announced the intensification of the health campaign in December, to prevent the entry of the Omicron variant of the virus.