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First Suspected Covid-19 Case, North Korea Declares Emergency In Border Town

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency and imposed a lockdown in a border town on Sunday, after a person suspected of being infected with the dangerous coronavirus. Sources say that the person has returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border. If the person tests positive for COVID-19 infection then it would be the first case officially acknowledged.
KCNA quoted that, “An emergency incident occurred in Kaesong City, where a runaway who went to the south three years ago, a person suspected of having been infected with the novel coronavirus, returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line.” But the Kaesong lockdown is the first such known measure taken in a North Korean city to stem the pandemic.
The North KCNA state news said that “Kim Jong convened an emergency Politburo meeting in response to what he called a sensitive situation in which the vicious virus may be said to have entered the country.”
KCNA did not clarify whether the person had been examined or not but claimed that an unknown result had been obtained from multiple medical check-ups of the secretion of the upper respiratory organ and blood of the individual. It is learned that the individual was put under quarantine. People who had been in contact with the suspected individual and those who had been to Kaesong for the last five days were also quarantined.
Choo Jae-woo, professor at Kyung Hee University said that, “It’s an icebreaking moment for North Korea to accept this. It may have been reaching out to the universe for support. Maybe for humanitarian assistance.”
North Korea closed its borders in January when cases emerged in China and has yet to report any coronavirus infections. Yet the U.S. Army said it believed that North Korea had cases, and Kim Jong Un ‘s government accepted help from other nations in the fight against the virus.

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