North Korea identifies its first case of Covid-19, state media report

The state news agency KCNA reported the case of the Omicron variant in the capital Pyongyang, calling the situation a “great national emergency”.

It is not clear how many cases have been detected.

An outbreak of Covid-19 it could prove terrible for North Korea. The country’s crumbling health infrastructure is unlikely to be up to the task of treating large numbers of patients with a highly infectious disease.

North Korea had not previously recognized any coronavirus cases, although experts say it could be a product of Pyongyang’s limited testing capacity.

Few believe that a country of around 25 million people has been spared from a virus that has infected millions of people around the world, especially after its state media warned in 2020 that an incident involving a symptomatic defector from Korea South could lead to a “deadly and destructive disaster.”

This is an evolving story. And there’s more.