New Delhi: North Korean authorities have imposed a lockdown in the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea after discovering their first ‘suspected’ COVID19 case, reported news agency AFP on Sunday. The step was taken on Friday after a person showed ‘suspected’ symptoms of COVID-19 in the city. Also Read - Mitchell Starc Happy With Decision To Not Play IPL 2020, Says 'Wouldn't Change It'

Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) has also reported that Kim Jong-Un declared a state of emergency in the Kaesong area during Politburo meeting yesterday. Also Read - IPL 2020: Players to be Tested Every 5th Day During Tournament, 7-day Quarantine For Kin Who Breaches Bio Bubble

“There was a critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country”, KCNA quoted the North Korean leader as saying.

If reports are to be believed, the person (the suspected COVID-19 patient) is a runaway who had fled to South Korea years ago before illegally crossing the border into the North early last week. The country will report its first confirmed coronavirus case, if that person is officially declared a COVID-19 patient.

Earlier, North Korea’s science research council had claimed that it was developing a vaccine for the novel coronavirus on its own. According to a report posted on Mirae, the website run by the North’s State Commission of Science and Technology, its scientists are currently conducting clinical trials to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the total number of global coronavirus cases has topped 15.6 million– 15,668,380 to be specific, while the deaths have increased to 638,243.

(With agency inputs)