Which countries have escaped COVID-19 (so far)?
May 19, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to all corners of the globe, but, as Statista’s Niall McCarthy details, the following infographic shows the last places on Earth remaining unaffected (officially at least). It is based on countries that have not reported any known COVID-19 cases and that remained absent from the extensive global tracking carried out by the Johns Hopkins University as of May 14, 2020.
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There are certainly question marks regarding the true situation in some countries, particularly North Korea, with sources in South Korea claiming COVID-19 has indeed spread there via the Chinese border.
Due to the secretive nature of the government in Pyongyang and the degree of state control over the media, it is impossible to tell whether the South Korean claims are true. However, it is also not unreasonable to think that in this instance, North Korea’s isolation from the rest of the world is helping it largely avoid the pandemic.
The situation was made even more unclear by Kim Jong-un’s recent lack of public appearances and it was rumoured that he was either dead or recovering from major heart surgery until he finally resurfaced at the opening of a fertilizer plant. His private train was spotted in Wonsan during his “disappearance” and some analysts have suggested he spent time there to avoid an outbreak of COVID-19. Like North Korea, Turkmenistan, another secretive country which is notorious for censorship, has also reported zero instances of COVID-19.
Lesotho was the last African country free of COVID-19 but it has now confirmed its first case.
COVID-19 remains mostly undetected in the smaller Pacific island nations such as the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.“The Ministry of Health informs the Basotho nation and the entire community living in Lesotho, that the country now has the first confirmed case of COVID-19,” Director General Dr Nyane Letsie said.
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