North Korea: Country’s covid outbreak has become a ” great disaster”, leader Kim Jong-un reported to the state media.
Mr Kim called for an all-out battle to tackle the spread of the virus during an emergency meeting on Saturday.
It comes after officials announced the first confirmed cases on Thursday – although experts believe the virus has likely been circulating.
There are fears a significant outbreak could have dire consequences in North Korea. Its population of 25 million is vulnerable due to the lack of a vaccination program and poor healthcare system.
And on Saturday, state media reported that there had been half a million cases of unexplained fever in recent weeks. The country has limited testing capabilities, so most Covid cases are not confirmed.
State media reports that 27 people have died of fever since April. The information does not show whether it is COVID positive, except for one death in the capital Pyongyang, which was confirmed as a case of a subspecies of Omicron.