North Korea has reported the first suspected case of coronavirus.
According to the State news agency KCNA, a person who defected to South Korea three years ago came back last week the demarcation line had Covid-19 symptoms.
Leader Kim Jong-un organized an emergency meeting with officials. Lockdown has been imposed in the border city of Kaesong. Mr. Kim also ordered a “maximum emergency system” to handle the virus.
“An emergency event happened in Kaesong city where a runaway who went to the south three years ago, a person who is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus returned on 19 July after illegally crossing the demarcation line,” KCNA said.
North Korea has earlier reported no cases of coronavirus, but analysts said it was unlikely.
KCNA also reported that the leader launched an investigation into how the person crossed the heavily fortified border. Mr. Kim also warned that “a severe punishment” would be administered to those responsible behind his entry.
On the other hand, South Korea has not reported any illegal crossings of the border.
North Korea had closed its borders and had ordered thousands of people to be isolated six months ago. Mr. Kim had earlier hailed the “shinning success” of North Korea in dealing with the virus before the first suspected case reported.
North Korea has earlier decided to punish citizens who do not wear face masks, with up to three months in prison for violating orders.
According to the details, the North Korean government has warned those who do not wear face masks as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.