A first «suspicious» case of coronavirus was recorded in North Korea, which is in «maximum emergency,» official news agency KCNA announced. This is a person who «returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line» that once borders South Korea, according to KCNA.
The agency describes the person suspected of being infected as «a fugitive who went south three years ago» and was found in the town of Kaesong, on the border with South Korea.
«It was initially subject to strict quarantine, and all the people who have been in contact with it and those who have been to this city for the past five days are being thoroughly investigated,» KCNA said.
Pyongyang said before that it had no cases of coronavirus and that the country’s borders would remain closed.
To deal with the «dangerous situation (…) that could lead to a deadly and destructive catastrophe,» North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called an emergency meeting of the political bureau on Saturday to adopt a «maximum emergency system and issue a high-level alert» to contain the epidemic, the official agency said.
«Despite strict quarantine measures, «it seems that the vicious virus has entered the country,» Kim Jong Un said, according to KCNA.
The North Korean leader said the government has taken «the preventive measure of completely confining the city of Kaesong» on July 24, the source added.