North Korea has gone into lockdown after leader Kim Jong-un declared an emergency following the country’s first suspected Covid-19 infection.
According to Reuters, the person in question had just returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border 3 years ago. The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) showed Covid-19 symptoms after returning to the town of Kaesong.
KCNA’s statement reads:
“An emergency event happened in Kaesong City where a runaway who went to the south 3 years ago, a person who is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus returned on 19th July after illegally crossing the demarcation line.”
KCNA didn’t specify whether the person had underwent testing but said an “uncertain result was made from several medical check-ups of the secretion of that person’s upper respiratory organ and blood.” As such, those who had been in contact with the suspect as well as those who had visited Kaesong are currently being quarantined.
Mr Kim convened an emergency politburo meeting and declared a state of emergency in the city. The suspect who “brought” the coronavirus into North Korea is being investigated at the moment. Those responsible (including the military unit on duty at the border crossing) will likely receive “a severe punishment.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) staff in Pyongyang announced yesterday that more than 1,000 people had been tested for Covid-19.