Seoul, South Korea:
North Korean authorities have imposed a lockdown on the border metropolis of Kaesong after discovering what they known as the nation’s first suspected case of the novel coronavirus, state media reported Sunday.
Chief Kim Jong Un convened an emergency politburo assembly on Saturday to implement a “most emergency system and difficulty a top-class alert” to comprise the virus, official information company KCNA mentioned.
If confirmed, it might be the primary formally recognised COVID-19 case within the North the place medical infrastructure is seen as woefully insufficient for coping with any epidemic.
KCNA mentioned a defector who had left for the South three years in the past returned on July 19 after “illegally crossing” the closely fortified border dividing the nations.
However there have been no studies within the South of anybody leaving via what is among the world’s most safe borders, replete with minefields and guard posts.
Pyongyang has beforehand insisted not a single case of the coronavirus had been seen within the North regardless of the sickness having swept the globe, and the nation’s borders stay closed.
The affected person was present in Kaesong Metropolis, which borders the South, and “was put below strict quarantine”, as would anyone who had are available in shut contact, state media mentioned.
It was a “harmful state of affairs… which will result in a lethal and harmful catastrophe”, the media outlet added.
Kim was quoted as saying “the vicious virus could possibly be mentioned to have entered the nation”, and officers on Friday took the “preemptive measure of completely blocking Kaesong Metropolis”.
The nuclear-armed North closed its borders in late January because the virus unfold in neighbouring China and imposed robust restrictions that put hundreds of its folks into isolation, however analysts say the North is unlikely to have averted the contagion.
South Korea is at the moment recording round 40 to 60 instances a day.
Earlier this month Kim warned in opposition to any “hasty” leisure of anti-coronavirus measures, indicating the nation will hold its borders closed for the foreseeable future.
(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)