Covid-19: These 10 countries remain untouched. Know the reason and see list

Covid-19 has wreaked havoc across the world, particularly in the United States and Europe. Many countries have re-imposed travel bans in the wake of the emergence of a new strain of the coronavirus, named Omicron. The World Health Organization has already categorised it as a ‘variant of concern’.
Commuters wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus wait for their buses at a bus stand in Beijing on Sunday.(AP Photo)
Commuters wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus wait for their buses at a bus stand in Beijing on Sunday.(AP Photo)
Published on Dec 20, 2021 07:57 AM IST
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By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

It’s been two years since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) struck the world. It changed the definition of “normal” and affected almost every sector – be it travel, education or healthcare.

The disease spread across the globe at an alarming pace, and kept mutating regularly to emerge in more dangerous and, in some cases, vaccine resistant form.

The United States and Europe are among the worst affected regions, where the new Omicron variant has been wreaking havoc. More than 800,000 people have already been killed in the US, and the infections are still surging.

But surprisingly, there are some countries have managed to stave off the coronavirus pandemic since it began in late 2019, reporting zero cases, according to the World Health Organization.

Most of these countries and territories are islands in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and are likely to be experiencing the benefit of bordering only the sea.

Some of the countries have also adopted strict travel policies, which helped them successfully keep the infections at bay. Two of them are being run under dictatorships, so getting an accurate data is very difficult.

Though these countries have reported zero Covid-19 cases, that does not rule out the fact that some cases may have flown under the radar.

Here’s a look at 10 countries which have not reported any Covid-19 cases till now:

Tuvalu: This independent island in the South Pacific has stopped the coronavirus infections from reaching its shores. Though a member of the Commonwealth, Tuvalu successfully closed its borders to travel, with a mandatory quarantine in some cases. The group of three reef islands and six atolls has a combined area of 25 square kilometres. According to WHO, nearly 50 people are fully vaccinated per 100 population.

Turkmenistan: The country has not acknowledged any case of the coronavirus disease, a stand that has irked the international community. The Central Asian country shares its borders with Uzbekistan and Afghanistan, and is largely covered by the Karakum desert; from one side, it also touches the Caspian Sea. A senior WHO official earlier told the BBC that it is highly unlikely that the virus is not circulating in Turkmenistan as the world has been grappling with it for two years.

North Korea: Like Turkmenistan, the hermit kingdom has also not declared any Covid-19 cases. In fact, reports in a section of media claimed that the Kim Jong-un regime eliminated the known cases of the disease to keep the country virus free.

Tokelau: The WHO has listed the tiny group of atolls in the South Pacific as free of Covid-19. Tokelau is a group if three atolls with a combined area of 10 square kilometres and population of 1,500. With no airport, the island near New Zealand is accessible primarily by ship.

Saint Helena: It is a British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean. Saint Helena is considered one of the most remote regions of the world. According to WHO, total vaccine doses administered per 100 population in Saint Helena is 138.

Pitcairn Islands: These are the group of four volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean. According to country profile on the CIA website, the population of full-time residents at 50 and most of them reside near the village of Adamstown.

Niue: This island nation is one of the world’s largest coral islands, located about 2,500 kilometres from New Zealand. Niue was supported by New Zealand in its fight against Covid-19.

Nauru: It is the third-smallest country in the world by size. Nauru is a neighbouring country of Kiribati. The reason why Covid-19 has not been reported in the country is the travel restriction put in place by the local administration.

Kiribati: It is located more than 3,200 kilometres southwest of Hawaii. The administration here imposed travel restrictions early on, and the arrival of a handful of flights made implementation of these norms easier, which stopped the spread of Covid-19.

Micronesia: The Federation of Micronesia is made up of more than 600 islands. The country has received support from then WHO, as well as countries like the United States, China and Japan in keeping Covid-19 at bay.

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Friday, January 28, 2022