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Initial COVID Outbreak Officially Confirmed in North Korea


Initial COVID Outbreak Officially Confirmed in North Korea

Ever since the commencement of the COVID-19 pandemic back in 2020, one unique country that has not recorded any cases of the virus is North Korea, at least as far as reports suggest. The nation’s extremely closed-off posture likely shielded it from external infections mostly, with any potential minor outbreaks likely kept under wraps. Nonetheless, it seems that even North Korea is not entirely impervious.

Today, North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un made a public declaration about the country’s premiere confirmed COVID-19 outbreak, making a public appearance wearing a face covering. According to announcements from the Korean Central News Agency, an unspecified number of individuals in Pyongyang displaying fevers have had viral specimens collected this week. The results of these samples all indicated the presence of the Omicron form of COVID-19.

North Korea is recognized for its ineffective healthcare system, and due to the nation’s isolationist approach, it is highly probable that the majority of the populace has not been vaccinated against the illness. International political analysts theorize that the situation could become dire enough for North Korea to seek external assistance, most likely from China.

“The acknowledgment of omicron cases by Pyongyang suggests a severe public health scenario,” as per insights from Leif-Eric Easley, a lecturer in international studies at Seoul’s Ewha Womans University, conveyed to AP. “Despite this, it doesn’t signify that North Korea will suddenly open its doors to humanitarian support and adopt a more amicable stance towards Washington and Seoul. Nevertheless, the Kim government’s domestic audience may show less enthusiasm towards nuclear or missile trials when confronted with an immediate crisis like the coronavirus rather than an external military threat.”

North Korea might face challenges in securing assistance from China considering China is currently grappling with a significant COVID outbreak of its own.

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