Salvador said in an email to The Associated Press that North Korea also informed WHO of the suspected first case, saying the person was tested for Covid-19 but the results were inconclusive.
Salvador said WHO has requested that North Korea share more information about the person.
Salvador said all of North Korea’s borders remain closed, group gatherings are banned, masks are required in public, and all educational institutions, including preschools, are on an extended summer break.
Since the end of December, North Korea has quarantined and released 25,905 people, 382 of them foreigners, Salvador said.
Many outside observers are all but certain the virus has already entered North Korea because it closed its border with China, its biggest trading partner, weeks after the world’s first known virus cases were recorded in China in December.
Monitoring groups in Seoul have steadfastly reported about North Korean virus cases and deaths.
A major coronavirus outbreak may cause a humanitarian disaster because of North Korea’s broken public health care system and lack of medical supplies.
But it’s unclear how serious North Korea’s current situation is.
“Though a really extensive local outbreak might not have occurred yet, it’s likely that a considerable number of people have been infected,” said analyst Hong Min at Seoul’s Korea Institute for National Unification.
“Even though North Korea locks itself down, there should be suspected cases there and authorities must aggressively diagnose them. But North Korea has never been transparent about whether it has such a capacity and the will to do so.”