North Korea has identified its first ever case of Covid-19, state media reported on Wednesday.
The state-run news agency KCNA reported the case of the Omicron variant in the capital Pyongyang, calling the situation a “major national emergency.”
It is not clear how many cases have been detected.
An outbreak of Covid-19 could prove dire for North Korea. The country’s dilapidated health care infrastructure is unlikely to be up to the task of treating a large number of patients with a highly infectious disease.
North Korea had not previously acknowledged any coronavirus cases, though experts claim that may be a product of Pyongyang’s limited testing capacity.
Few believe that a country of around 25 million people has been spared by a virus that has infected millions worldwide, especially after its state media warned in 2020 that an incident involving a symptomatic defector from South Korea might lead to a “deadly and destructive disaster.”
This is a developing story. More to come.
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