North Korea reports 18,000 Covid cases today. Yesterday the number was 1

Yesterday North Korea confirmed its very first Covid case and immediately went into lockdown — but not soon enough. Today the country's Covid case number jumped to more than 18,000.

"This has the potential to be a public health catastrophe inside North Korea," Will Ripley said on CNN today (video below), describing North Korea as "one of only two countries in the world that has not administered vaccinations, the other being Eritrea."

From Mediaite:

Ripley noted that the Omicron variant was detected in the country's capital of Pyongyang and threatens to cripple North Korea's healthcare system, which "does not have the capacity to treat people who are at high risk from a highly contagious variant such as this." …

Jenn Williams, a deputy editor at Foreign Policy, commented on the quick jump [tweet at bottom], saying, "Wait holy shit yesterday it was ONE." Williams' comments both underscore the sensational nature of the jump and the challenge of getting accurate information out of North Korea.