Way back in December 2019, when the world was closer to a reality we were all accustomed to, the novel coronavirus was restricted to the geo-political confines of China. In a matter of weeks, the virus, which causes the illness now known as Covid-19, slowly became a global pandemic. More than 3.2 million people have been infected, and more than 185 countries have been affected, with borders closed and strict lockdowns put in place. Yet, it seems, unbelievably, there are some countries free of Covid-19:
1. Kiribati – An island country in the central Pacific Ocean made of 33 Atolls of which only 20 are inhabited.
2. Lesotho – A high-altitude, landlocked kingdom surrounded by South Africa and peppered by rivers and mountains.
3. Marshall Islands – A chain of volcanic islands and coral Atolls in the Pacific Ocean.
4. Micronesia – A country spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands known for ancient ruins and ship-wreck dive sites.
5. Nauru – A tiny island country north east of Australia, which was once the richest country in the world in the 1960s.
6. North Korea – An authoritarian and insulated country in South Asia with a population of more than 25 million people.
7. Palau – Another archipelago consisting of more than 500 islands, part of the Micronesia region in the western Pacific Ocean.
8. Samoa – A two-country island situated south of the equator with a cultural history dating back 3,500 years.
9. Solomon Islands – An island nation in the South Pacific Ocean and east of Papua New Guinea; known for its water sports and scuba diving.
10. Tonga – A Polynesian kingdom in the South Pacific known for its white beaches, coral reefs and tropical rainforest.
11. Turkmenistan – A country in Central Asia bordered by the Caspian Sea and largely covered by the Karakum Desert.
12. Tuvalu – An independent island nation located midway between Hawaii and Australia and the fourth smallest nation in the world.
13. Vanuatu – A Pacific island country known for its underwater caverns and wrecks such as WWII-era troopships that are great scuba diving.
As per recent reports, many of the countries mentioned above may not have coronavirus cases for multiple reasons. For one, most countries like Micronesia and Solomon Islands are islands deep in the ocean with little or no direct connectivity. Also, with them taking immediate measures to prevent the arrival of the virus, it could have been completely deflected. By sealing off borders, prohibiting travel and avoiding social gatherings, these countries might have actually managed to avoid importing and then subsequently, spreading the virus altogether. However, skeptics doubt countries like North Korea have completely avoided the virus. The country has not reported any cases of Covid-19, although it had also taken preventive measures. Experts researching this global phenomenon are yet to determine the exact causes for the virus to have spared these countries altogether – something only time and extensive scientific research will tell. For those looking for inspiration on where to travel when boarders reopen, these places might be a good place to start, otherwise we’ve also got some recommendations.