Coronavirus cases passed one million yesterday (April 2), after the first person became infected in China Wuhan city last November. COVID-19 is now a global pandemic, with nations experiencing a “tsunami” of patients suffering from the disease, but some countries are yet to bear the coronavirus burden.
Which places are the least likely to contract COVID-19?
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc in the world’s most developed nations, those with the highest populations and extensive international networks.
Those countries have found it difficult to contain infections due to their size, meaning smaller nations are uniquely placed to tackle the virus.
However, many of these places don’t have access to the same level of healthcare as those with the highest caseloads.
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According to the BBC, a total of 18 countries have yet to report any coronavirus cases.
- Marshall Islands
- North Korea
- Sao Tome and Principe
- Solomon Islands
- South Sudan
Seven of these countries are amongst the least visited in the world, and they have the most control over who enters and leaves.
While this is a desirable position to be in when it comes to preventing COVID-19 cases, many of these small nations are poorly equipped to deal with them.
Should any coronavirus cases leak through, they may risk a national catastrophe.
As such, some have declared a national emergency before detecting their first case, amongst them the nation of Nauru in the Pacific Ocean, home to just 10,000 people.
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There, President Lionel Aingimea has kept the nation in strict lockdown, as they have few avenues to treat those who fall sick.
Nauru has just one hospital within its borders and no ventilators, which have become vital tools for treating people with COVID-19 symptoms.
President Aingimea has instituted a policy of “capture and containment” which means all people entering the country undergo two weeks of quarantine and daily testing.
Other countries have followed his lead, declaring their own national emergencies and isolating their citizens.
According to Dr Colin Tukuitonga, an associate dean at Auckland University’s medical school and former World Health Organization (WHO) commissioner, the decision is the right one.
He told the BBC: “Their best bet without a doubt is to keep the b***dy thing out.
“Because if it gets in then you’re stuffed, really. These places don’t have robust health systems.
“They’re small, they’re fragile, many don’t have ventilators. If an outbreak did occur it would decimate the population.”
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