Two years after the start of the pandemic, the North Korean regime reported its first outbreak of COVID-19

Two years after the start of the pandemic, the North Korean regime reported its first outbreak of COVID-19

North Korea acknowledged on Thursday the first outbreak of COVID-19 in the country since the start of the pandemic, declared by the official media as a “serious national emergency incident”.

The official news agency KCNA said the samples taken from several sick patients with fever in Pyongyang on Sunday were “consistent” with the highly contagious Omicron variant del coronavirus.

According to this medium, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said at an emergency meeting of his political bureau that they would implement a “maximum emergency” virus control system with the aim of “eliminating the root in the shortest possible time.”

“He assured us that due to the high level of political awareness of the population (…) we will safely overcome the emergency and we will succeed with the emergency quarantine plan,” the agency added.

Kim Jong-un's dictatorship has prevented the territory from entering vaccines for the population
Kim Jong-un’s dictatorship has prevented the territory from entering vaccines for the population

Kim requested stricter border controls and confinement measuresrequesting its citizens to “completely contain the spread of the malicious virus by carefully blocking its area in all cities and counties in the country,” it said KCNA.

All businesses and production activities will be organized so that each unit is “isolated” to avoid contagion, he added.

The impoverished country with nuclear weapons a self-imposed foreign lockdown in early 2020 to protect itself from the pandemicwhich has caused economic problems and the paralysis of trade.

Since the start of the pandemic, North Korea had not confirmed a single case of coronavirus.

According to the World Health Organization, the country had carried out 13,259 COVID tests by the end of 2020, all of which were negative.

Analysts claim that North Korea’s failing health system would struggle to deal with a major outbreak of the illness.

A COUNTRY WITHOUT VACCINES

As mask mandates and social distancing requirements ease around the world, North Korea remains one of two countries that have not administered any coronavirus vaccinewith no sign of how it can begin to reopen despite a looming humanitarian crisis for its town.

As reported this week The Washington PostVaccines that were allocated to North Korea through a United Nations-backed global vaccination effort are no longer available, officials said this month, after Pyongyang repeatedly rejected the initiative’s offers of millions of doses.

Last year, North Korea rejected nearly 3 million doses of China Sinovac vaccine, saying the shipments should go to other countries that need them more. North Korea it also rejected 2 million doses of the vaccine from AstraZeneca-Oxford University over apparent concerns about potential side effects.

According to the post, no vaccinations at all North Korea risks becoming the epicenter of new variants as a result of low population immunity to the virus.

(With information from AFP)

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