Dubai: More than 3.52 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus worldwide, and 248,000 have died worldwide, according to the data from Coronavirus Research Centre of Johns Hopkins University and Medicine. Infections have been reported in more than 210 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
But, incredibly, 11 independent countries are still free of the global pandemic. These are: North Korea, Turkmenistan, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, and Tonga. Many of these are far-off, tiny island nations in the middle of oceans. There are at least 10 more places that are free of COVID-19, but they are dependent territories of countries such as Britain, the US, France and Australia.
North Korea, Turkmenistan
Since the coronavirus outbreak in neighbouring China in January, North Korea has not reported a single case of the virus. The ‘hermit kingdom’ has instituted draconian quarantine measures against COVID-19, branding it a matter of “national survival”. The fact that North Korea has ardently worked to make itself perhaps the most isolated nation on earth has always helped. However, some analysts remain sceptical of North Korea’s assertion.
Though nowhere near as extreme as North Korea, Turkmenistan is also a relatively closed country that are also among some of the least visited. Its exposure to the outside world is very limited, and this may have contributed to the absence of COVID-19 there.
Island nations in the middle of nowhere
Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu are located in the middle of oceans, and expensive to get to. This also appears to have brought them the unexpected benefit of remaining COVID-19 free.