North Korea has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming its first official Covid infections. State media have reported an Omicron outbreak in the capital Pyongyang.
North Korean news agency, KCNA said, leader Kim Jong-un had vowed to eradicate the outbreak, which they called a severe national emergency that had breached the country’s quarantine front.
The North Korean news outlet added that the first case of the Omicron variant had been reportedly detected in the capital four days ago.
Residents in some areas of Pyongyang had been subjected to lockdown for at least two days prior to the latest announcement.
The first public admission of COVID infections highlights the potential for a major crisis in a country that has refused international help with vaccinations and kept its borders shut.
Meanwhile, South Korea’s government said, it has renewed its offer of humanitarian assistance to the North in response to the news of the outbreak. Pyongyang has yet to respond.