North Korea orders strict lockdown with first official Covid cases



 11:14, 12 May, 2022

YEREVAN, MAY 12, ARMENPRESS. North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections, BBC reports.

State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital, Pyongyang, but did not state the number of cases.

KCNA said leader Kim Jong-un had vowed to eradicate the outbreak, which it called a “severe national emergency” that had breached the country's “quarantine front”.

But observers believe the virus has long been present in the country.

North Korea's main way of combating Covid has been to seal its foreign borders – it was one of the first countries to do so, in January 2020.

On Thursday, KCNA said Mr Kim had ordered “maximum emergency” virus controls, which appeared to include orders for localized lockdowns and gathering restrictions in workplaces.

The North Korean news outlet added that the first case of the Omicron variant had been reportedly detected in the capital four days ago.