North Korea rejects the COVID-19 case, despite the government imposing a strict coronavirus blockade of its borders since the pandemic began in 2020.
Digital Desk: North Korea has confirmed its first COVID-19 case and declared a "severe national emergency," with leader Kim Jong Un vowing to "eradicate" the virus, according to state media on Thursday.
The impoverished, nuclear-armed country has never admitted to having a case of COVID-19, despite the government imposing a strict coronavirus blockade of its borders.
According to the official Korean Central News Agency report, samples taken from feverish patients in the capital were "consistent with" the virus's highly transmissible Omicron variant.
To discuss the outbreak, top officials, including leader Kim Jong Un, convened a crisis central committee meeting and announced implementing a "maximum emergency" virus control system.
According to the news report of KCNA, Kim stated at the meeting that "the goal was to eliminate the root in the shortest period of time."
"He assured us that due to the people's high political awareness, we will undoubtedly overcome the emergency and win the emergency quarantine project," the statement said.
Kim urged citizens to "completely block the spread of the malicious virus by thoroughly blocking their areas in all cities and counties across the country."
To prevent the spread of disease, all business and production activities will be organised so that each work unit is "isolated," according to KCNA.
North Korea has rejected vaccine shipments from the COVAX global COVID-19 vaccine-sharing programme and the Sinovac Biotech vaccine from China.
Kim told the Workers' Party meeting that the latest emergency quarantine system's goal is to control and manage the spread of the coronavirus while also quickly healing infected people to eliminate the source of transmission in the shortest amount of time, according to KCNA.
According to a South Korean website that monitors activities in Pyongyang, residents have been told to return home and remain indoors due to a "national problem," according to a South Korean website that monitors activities in Pyongyang.
Earlier on Thursday, Chinese state television reported that North Korea had ordered its citizens to stay at home since May 11 due to "suspected flu symptoms," without mentioning COVID-19.