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Countries Where No Coronavirus Cases Have Been Reported

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181 countries in all of 200, over the world have reported at least one case of the novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19, according to the reports by Johns Hopkins University coronavirus resource center. The pandemic, which emerged in late December in Wuhan, China, has spread across the world at an alarming rate, topping 1 million cases as of April 2. The virus is nearly everywhere.

But there are still some countries that have not been affected by the virus.

The bulk of the states that have not yet reported cases are small Pacific Island nations, followed by a handful in Asia and Africa.

The largest of the Oceanic states to not have a confirmed COVID-19 case is the Solomon Islands. With a population just over 600,000, the country’s government has not sat idle. 

At present, only Papua New Guinea and Fiji have domestic testing capabilities. It’s not surprising that both have identified cases — one and seven, respectively. 

Besides the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Kiribati, Micronesia, Tonga, the Marshall Islands Palau, Tuvalu, and Nauru have no reported cases of COVID-19, though many have restricted travel and taken other steps to prevent the arrival or spread of the virus.

North Korea hasn’t reported any cases. The already isolated state took preventative steps early, sealing its border with China in January, denying all foreign travelers from entering, but North Korea watchers are skeptical of the state’s no-case claim. Whether North Korea just can’t tell if it has cases or is blatantly lying are both reasonable options.

Elsewhere in Asia, there are similar reasons for skepticism. Turkmenistan and Tajikistan both claim to have not confirmed any cases, and that may very well be true. Turkmenistan is on par with North Korea in terms of state secrecy and isolation, but much more distant from the source of the virus, China. 

While Turkmenistan hasn’t banned the word “coronavirus,” it hasn’t bothered to use it very much or enact preventative measures. 

Tajikistan, for it’s part, has fiddled with various externally oriented travel restrictions, but President Rahmon continues to appear at large public gatherings, surrounded by crowds of women dressed in traditional garb or being hugged by throngs of children. Tajikistan announced it would block the entry of citizens from 35 coronavirus-hit countries in early March, but walked the restrictions back almost immediately. 

So, in the end, what should we make of the countries that have not reported cases? Are they unable to test? Are they lying? Are they that isolated? The reality looks likely to be a mix.

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Naya Daur