Since the first Coronavirus case surfaced in Wuhan, China in 2019, the virus has now become a epidemic, according to the World Health Organization. It has, in fact, affected nearly every continent in the world. However, despite the enormity of its contamination, there still are countries that the virus has not reached yet. How come these nations have not been affected by the disease? What have they been doing in terms of their safety measurements against this pandemic? Are these countries the last safe place to be in or will they be the next hotspot for the virus?
Countries that are COVID-19 Free
According to a report of BBC News, while COVID-19 cases around the globe have increased, there are still countries that have yet to report a single positive patient. It was stated in the report that that 19 countries have not yet confirmed any case of COVID-19 as of April 2.
These countries are the following:
Kiribati, Malawi, Comoros, Lesotho, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, North Korea, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, South Sudan, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, and Yemen.
These countries that the virus has not yet reached are mostly small islands that receive only a few visitors from foreign countries. According to the data from the United Nations, 7 out of the world's 10 least visited places are free from COVID-19.
And while they remain to have zero cases of the virus, the President of Nauru, Lionel Aingimea has said that they are still not being complacent with this virus. They are taking serious safety measures to secure the safety of his country and his people.
Is Nauru the safest place to be in against Coronavirus?
Nauru is an isolated island located in the Pacific Ocean. It is 200 miles (320 kilometers) away from any island. The Banaba Island, which is a part of Kiribati, is the nearest landmass to Nauru. The closest major city with direct flights to Nauru is Brisbane, which is 2,500 miles away from the Island.
It takes more than just a quick bus or train ride to visit the island, which has perhaps contributed to its lack of foreign visitors. It is known as one of the least-visited places on earth according to the recent UN data with only 160 tourist visits each year. This is the second-smallest UN state as the island only has 10,000 residents.
President Aingimea, however, is still not satisfied with the island's safe geography since the country has only one hospital that has no ventilators and also a shortage of nurses. He has implemented a plan called "Capture and Containment" which includes the banning of flights from China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran--known COVID-19 hotspots. The country also suspended Nauru Airline flights going to Kiribati, Fiji and Marshall Islands. The President also ordered a 14-day quarantine for residents returning from Australia.
"We're keeping things at the border. We're using our airport as the border and our transit facilities as part of our border," said the president.
Despite the crisis that is currently taking place, the president thanked his people for being calm and collected. He is also grateful for the help they are receiving from Australia and Taiwan which the Island has good relations with.