North Korea reports 6 deaths after announcing COVID-19 outbreak
Country confirms virus spread in late April, over 350,000 people infected so far
North Korea on Friday confirmed six deaths from COVID-19, the reclusive country's first fatalities from the disease after announcing an outbreak, state-run media reported.
According to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the coronavirus started spreading in the country late last month, infecting more than 350,000 people so far.
Over 162,200 have recovered from the infection, while 187,800 people have been isolated for treatment.
“Six persons died (one of them tested positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of omicron),” the KCNA reported.
On Thursday, North Korea reported 18,000 new COVID-19 cases and imposed a nationwide lockdown.
North Korea is among the few countries that did not report any cases since the pandemic began more than two years ago.
On Thursday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the state emergency epidemic prevention headquarters where he was briefed on the current situation.
Kim ordered the lockdown and measures to control the spread of the virus.
North Korea’s prevention strategy relied on a complete border shutdown since January 2020. The World Health Organization has no records of any COVID-19 vaccinations in the country of 25 million, with Pyongyang having turned down repeated offers of vaccine supplies from the international community.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid