Live: Coronavirus daily news updates, May 12: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world

Moderna officials requested the Food and Drug Administration authorize its vaccine for children ages 6 to 11 earlier this week. The vaccine elicits a strong immune response in children in that age group, according to researchers.

Meanwhile, North Korea went into a nationwide lockdown this week after its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak was reported. While the size of the outbreak remains unknown, the country’s poor health care system and the likelihood that most citizens a are unaccinated is causing concern.

We’re updating this page with the latest news about the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects on the Seattle area, the US and the world. Click here to see the rest of our coronavirus coverage and here to see how we track the daily spread across Washington.

North Korea confirms 1st COVID outbreak, Kim lockdown orders

North Korea imposed a nationwide lockdown Thursday to control its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak after holding for more than two years to a widely doubted claim of a perfect record keeping out the virus that has spread to nearly every place in the world.

The forced outbreak leader Kim Jong Un to wear a mask in public, likely for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but the scale of transmissions inside North Korea wasn’t immediately known. A failure to slow infections could have serious consequences because the country has a poor health care system and its 26 million people are believed to be mostly unvaccinated. Some experts say North Korea, by its rare admission of an outbreak, may be seeking outside aid.

However, hours after North Korea confirmed the outbreak, South Korea’s military said it detected the North had fired three suspected ballistic missiles toward the sea. It was its 16th round of missile launches this year, in brinkmanship aimed at forcing the United States to accept North Korea as a nuclear power and negotiate sanctions relief and other concessions from a position of strength.

The official Korean Central News Agency said tests of virus samples collected Sunday from an unspecified number of people with fevers in the capital, Pyongyang, confirmed they were infected with the omicron variant.

In response, Kim called at a ruling party Politburo meeting for a thorough lockdown of cities and counties and said workplaces should be isolated by units to block the virus from spreading.

Read the story here.

—Kim Tong-Hyung and Hyung-Jin Kim, The Associated Press

Leave a Comment