N. Korea reports first COVID-19 eruption, orders lockout in “severe emergency”

  • North Korea declares state of emergency
  • Kim Jong Un is likely to cause you an ‘unprecedented crisis’ – expert
  • The isolated state has turned down an international offer for vaccination
  • It is believed that none of the North Korean citizens were vaccinated

SEOUL, May 12 (Reuters) – North Korea confirmed on Thursday its first COVID-19 eruption, calling it a “severe national emergency” and ordering a national lock-up, state media reported that the Omigran variant had been detected in Pyongyang.

The first public admission of Govt.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of March, no cases of COVID-19 have been reported, and there is no official record of any North Koreans being vaccinated.

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“There has been a very serious emergency in the state: a breakdown in our emergency epidemic prevention front, which has so far been firmly guarded,” the official KCNA news agency reported.

Samples taken on May 8 from flu victims in Pyongyang showed a subtype of the omigran virus, also known as PA2, the report said, without specifying case numbers or possible evidence of infection.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un convened a meeting of the ruling Workers’ Party’s powerful politburo on Thursday and ordered the mobilization of “severe locks” and emergency stockpiles across the country.

“State epidemiological missions will be transferred to the maximum emergency epidemic prevention system,” KCNA said.

State television showed Kim attending a Politburo meeting wearing a disposable mask. In past scenes of such encounters or other events, everyone except him wore a mask.

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North Korea has never formally confirmed the outbreak of COVID-19, with South Korea and US officials claiming it has erupted in an isolated country. Can not be rejectedBefore closing the border in early 2020 there was trade and exchange with the people with China.

A man who returned to the south in 2017 declared a state of emergency in July 2020 in Kaesong, near the Korean border, and imposed a three-week lockout, enforcing strict isolation measures, including Kim’s internal provincial movements. The city showing signs of Govt.

Of the WHO Recent dataOf North Korea’s 25 million people, 64,207 tested positive for COVID – 19 and all tested negative as of March 31.

North Korea has rejected vaccines from the COVAX distribution program and the Sinovac biotech vaccine from China, suggesting that most civilians may not be vaccinated. read more

The office of the new president of South Korea, Eun-suk-yolin, who took office on Tuesday, said humanitarian aid would not be linked to the political situation.

Kwon Young-se, the UN candidate for co-ordinator for co-operation in relations with Korea, said in his confirmation that Kovit was preparing humanitarian aid for the north, including syringes and other medical supplies.

News of the explosion came after the United States. And South Korean officials have warned that it may conduct its first nuclear test since 2017 earlier this month, after breaking the 2017 ban on long-range missile testing. read more

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No vaccine, poor medical infrastructure

At the Politburo meeting, Kim said emergency measures were aimed at controlling the spread of the virus and removing the source of the spread quickly. Politburo criticized the anti-epidemic authorities’ “lack of awareness, complacency, irresponsibility and incompetence”, KCNA said.

The failure to control the epidemic was an “unprecedented crisis” for Kim’s leadership, said Lim Yul-zul, a professor of North Korean research at Kyungnam University in South Korea.

“Given the very low vaccine status and testing capacity and public health infrastructure compared to China, the lack of intensive care units is likely to result in a large number of fatalities,” he said.

The Central Bank of South Korea said in July 2021 that the northern economy had experienced its biggest contraction in 2020 in 23 years due to border restrictions, UN sanctions and bad weather. read more

Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute said the nationwide lockout in North Korea would cause major disruption over time, increasing food shortages and general chaos.

Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said Kim’s call for a Politburo meeting at dawn could be an implicit request for help from the international community.

Earlier on Thursday, Chinese state television, citing COVID-19, said North Korea should stay home with its people from Tuesday because of “suspected flu symptoms.”

NK News, a South Korean-based North Korean-based website, this week told Pyongyang residents to stay indoors because of a “national problem” without details.

The main crossroads between China’s Tandong and northwestern North Korean city of Xinjiang was closed in April due to the Kovit situation in the Chinese city. read more

Report by Soo-hyang Choi and Jury Ro in Seoul, Ryan Woo in Beijing; Additional Reporting of Hyonhee Shin; Editing by Jack Kim and Jerry Doyle

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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