A Covid-19 outbreak in North Korea has been called a “great disaster” by the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un.
It has led to the first deaths since the start of the pandemic and there are fears that a major outbreak could be hugely damaging to the nation of 25million.
North Korea is already struggling with a lack of medicine, food shortages and an economy weakened by sanctions and the total closure of its borders.
Twenty-seven people are believed to have died from the coronavirus, but around half a million have developed fevers since the end of last month.
North Korea has a very low vaccination rate after rejecting international vaccine offers.
Officials claimed to have controlled the spread of Covid by closing all borders since January 2020.
South Korea has offered help to its northern neighbor but Pyongyang has yet to respond.
Since Thursday, North Korea has imposed measures aimed at restricting the movement of people and supplies between cities and counties, but descriptions of the measures by state media say people are not confined to their homes.