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N. Korea reports first COVID-19 case, declares emergency
Updated: 2020-07-26 13:52:03 KST
North Korea has finally reported its first suspected case of COVID-19 within its borders.
It says it's waiting for test results.
That's according to the regime's state-run Korean Central News Agency, which reported Sunday that someone who had crossed over to South three years ago returned to the North on July 19th with symptoms.
If confirmed, this would be the first case of COVID-19 the regime has acknowledged.
The person, it said, was put under strict quarantine along with those who'd come in contact with them, and the city of Gaeseong was put on lockdown.
There were no other details about the person except that several check-ups were done on fluids from the person's upper respiratory tract and that blood was taken.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reportedly said the possibliity of what he called the "vicious virus" entering the country is a critical moment.
In response, he convened a session of the politburo on Saturday, addressing the relevant officials and declaring a state of emergency.
The South Korean military says it's started investigating the report and has identified one possible person based the facts provided by North's report.
Instead of managing to sneak through the DMZ, it's more likely that he swam across the Hangang River estuary.
So far, North Korea has claimed not to have had a single case of COVID-19 because it shut its borders in January soon after the virus emerged in China.
Kim Do-yeon, Arirang News.
Reporter : tkim@arirang.com