COVID officially reaches North Korea
The Hermit Kingdom has confirmed that the Omicron eagle has landed. The government has ordered a strict national lockdown after confirming the first infections, although observers believe COVID has been in the country for a while. Kim Jong-un has vowed to eradicate the virus, with state media calling the situation a “severe national emergency” with the virus breaching the country’s “quarantine front”. Experts say the nation’s 25 million population is particularly vulnerable because the government hasn’t distributed a vaccine, even rejecting offers of millions of AstraZeneca and Chinese-made Sinovac jabs last year. North Korea’s primary defence against COVID has been its closed borders – but that also stopped essential supplies from entering the country and caused more economic hardship for its people. South Korea has renewed its offer of humanitarian assistance.
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