North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered a nationwide lockdown on Thursday after his country publicly reported its first Covid-19 outbreak in a surprising acknowledgment after denying any cases within its border for more than two years, a claim that had been widely questioned.

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According to The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), test samples collected from an unspecified number of people with fevers in the capital Pyongyang confirmed that they were infected with the BA.2 Omicron variant of Covid-19.