North Korea has reported its first official coronavirus infection, state media said on Thursday.
Testing of residents in the capital Pyongyang revealed that they were infected with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
Exact details on how many people have been infected and where were not disclosed.
The ruling Workers' Party decided to switch the pandemic emergency level to its "maximum" level "and strictly control and command the overall epidemic prevention work of the country," state news agency KCNA reported.
Until now, the isolated authoritarian country had not registered a single coronavirus infection to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva.
At a meeting of the country's Workers' Party Central Committee, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un urged officials to master what he called an "unexpected crisis."