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North Korea announces first case of Covid-19, Kim Jong Un orders nationwide lockdown

The North Korean flag at the North Korean Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 27, 2017. – Manan Vatsyayana – AFP

The first case of Covid-19 infection since the start of the pandemic has been reported in North Korea, the official press announced on Thursday, calling it a “serious national emergency”. The country’s leader Kim Jong Un announced the establishment of an “extreme emergency” virus control system after a politburo crisis meeting.

“The objective was to eliminate the root as soon as possible,” said the leader quoted by the state agency KCNA.

“He assured us that because of the strong political consciousness of the population […]we will surely overcome the emergency and succeed with the emergency quarantine project,” the news agency said.

The country’s health system is very weak

Kim Jong Un called for stricter border control as well as containment measures, asking residents to “completely prevent the spread of the malicious virus by fully locking down their neighborhoods in all cities and counties nationwide,” according to KCNA. .

All productive and commercial activities will be organized so that each work unit is “isolated” to prevent the spread of the virus, he added.

The country completely closed its borders from the start of the pandemic in 2020, at the expense of its economy. Pyongyang had not announced any confirmed cases of Covid-19 until Thursday.

According to the World Health Organization, North Korea had conducted 13,259 anti-Covid tests in 2020, all of which turned out to be negative. Observers believe that the country’s very weak health system would struggle to overcome a major epidemic.

Original article published on BFMTV.com

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