North Korea reports first Covid cases, Kim orders national lockdown

SpaceWar.com reports: “North Korea confirmed its first-ever Covid cases Thursday and declared a ‘serious emergency’, with leader Kim Jong Un appearing in a mask on television for the first time to order nationwide lockdowns.

The nuclear-armed country had never admitted to a case of Covid-19, and the government had imposed a rigid coronavirus blockade of its borders since the start of the pandemic in 2020.

But samples taken from patients sick with fever in Pyongyang ‘coincided with Omicron BA.2 variant’, the official Korean Central News Agency reported.

Top officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, held a crisis politburo meeting on Thursday to discuss the outbreak and announced they would implement the ‘maximum emergency epidemic prevention system’.

The official KCTV showed Kim at the meeting wearing a mask — the first time he has done so in public since the start of the pandemic. Other top officials present were also masked.

Kim ‘called on all the cities and counties of the whole country to thoroughly lock down their areas,’ KCNA reported, although details of the restrictions were not immediately given…”

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