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North Korea Confirms ‘1st’ Cases of COVID-19, Enters ‘Severe Emergency’ Lockdown

has entered a “severe emergency” after confirming its first official cases of COVID-19, with leader Kim Jong-un ordering a nationwide lockdown on Thursday.

According to the Korean Central Agency, a number of people in the capital Pyongyang had contracted the Omicron variant of the virus, also known as BA.2, although no further details were provided as to the exact number of people who have tested positive or possible sources of infection.

The samples of the infected people were collected on May 8, the news agency said.

North Korea’s confirmed infections come over two years into the pandemic. The country has claimed to have kept the virus at bay, despite it spreading rapidly across the globe.

The nation was one of the first countries to shut down its borders in January 2020 in an effort to prevent the virus from spreading via foreign countries.

However, experts have widely disputed North Korea’s claims regarding having zero

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