North Korea has reported that it has had a covid19 outbreak.
North Korea’s borders have been tightly sealed since January 2020 to keep the virus out, making it even more isolated from the rest of the world, than usual. But the Omicron variant somehow found its way in. The source of the outbreak has not been disclosed, but it most probably came through from China, as locals living close to the Chinese border often exchange goods with the Chinese.
This is the first report that has come out of North Korea about the coronavirus. The problem is that hardly anyone in the hermit country is vaccinated, which on rough calculations would mean that tens of thousands of people are likely to die, maybe even getting up to 100,000 people in a nation with a population of about 25 million people, the same as Australia. If the omicron variant that snuck into North Korea is the more deadly variant BA.2.2, that was in Hong Kong and is now in China, the death toll could even get close to one million people. I found it interesting that they called the coronavirus “fever cases” and pictures emerged with the leader Kim Yong Un wearing an ineffective surgical mask and them testing people with a temperature gun. This will miss about 30% of cases which are likely to be asymptomatic.
This could be a catastrophe for the poor people of North Korea.