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ICYMI: North Korea announces first COVID death, orders ‘strict’ lockdown

ICYMI: North Korea announces first COVID death, orders ‘strict’ lockdown
May 13
21:03 2022

North Korea has reported its first COVID death since other countries of the world have been battling the pandemic.

According to CNN, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), on Thursday, called the situation the “gravest national emergency” and said North Korea reported 18,000 new “fever cases” and six deaths — including one confirmed COVID fatality.

The country has, however, not confirmed that all “fever” cases and deaths are COVID-related.

North Korea had never confirmed a single COVID infection before Thursday.

KCNA reportedly said samples taken on May 8 from people in Pyongyang who were experiencing fevers showed the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron virus.

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North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, also called a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s, ordering a “strict lockdown” in all cities and the mobilisation of emergency reserve medical supplies.

“The state epidemic prevention work shall be switched over to the maximum emergency epidemic prevention system,” KCNA was quoted as saying.

Earlier on Thursday, a Chinese state television was said to have reported that North Korea has imposed a stay-at-home order since Tuesday due to “suspected flu symptoms” among some people.

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Meanwhile, according to the latest data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), as of March 31, 64,207 of North Korea’s population had been tested for COVID and all were negative.

North Korea had also declined vaccine supplies from the COVAX programme and the Sinovac Biotech vaccine from China.

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