- Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

North Korea Reports More Than 18,000 COVID-19 Cases in Country, Eight Fatalities - Reports

© AP Photo / Cha Song HoA schoolgirl wearing face mask, disinfects her hands before entering the Kumsong Secondary School No. 2 in the morning in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Nov. 3, 2021.
A schoolgirl wearing face mask, disinfects her hands before entering the Kumsong Secondary School No. 2 in the morning in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Nov. 3, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.05.2022
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - North Korea has so far registered more than 18,000 COVID-19 cases in the country, with eight fatalities, the Yonhap news agency reported on Friday, citing North Korean state media.
On Thursday, North Korea reported the first case of COVID-19 in the country. North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un described the situation as a sudden emergency and announced a lockdown.
Overall, an outbreak of an unknown fever has hit some 350,000 people in North Korea, according to a separate Yonhap report. Of that number, more than 162,000 patients have been reportedly isolated and treated so far.
It is unknown, however, whether this fever is linked to COVID-19, whose outbreak is currently being reported by Pyongyang.
Also on Thursday, footage of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wearing a medical mask emerged in DPRK state media. As can be seen in the footage, Kim appears to be wearing a simple blue-and-white medical mask, though he removed it while speaking to members of the Politburo.
Earlier, Kim said that an emergency situation arose in the DPRK due to the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus, and he ordered his government at all levels to work impeccably to stop the spread of the disease.
In particular, he ordered a lockdown of the counties and cities of the country.
An official of the Hygienic and Anti-epidemic Center in Phyongchon District disinfect the corridor of a building in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Feb. 5, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.05.2022
Omicron COVID Strain
North Korea Reportedly Confirms First-Ever COVID-19 Case of Omicron Variant
After the news emerged about the virus outbreak in the isolated country, China and South Korea declared their readiness to provide all necessary assistance to North Korea in the fight against COVID-19.
From the beginning of the pandemic to this day, North Korea has declared that there have been no cases of coronavirus in the country at all.
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