COVID-19: Virus-Free Countries

COVID-19: Virus-Free Countries

Coronavirus has spread to almost every country on planet earth and at least 166 countries have confirmed at least one case of the COVID-19, which first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan only three months ago.

As it spreads across the globe, it’s making light work of unleashing total havoc. It’s bringing the most sophisticated health care systems to their knees and dismantling some of the strongest economies in the world.

A recent surge in cases in the past week has seen the United States reach 33,546 cases and 419 deaths across all 50 states. Spain is another emerging virus hotspot, clocking 28,603 cases and 1756 deaths.

The pandemic has now stretched its tentacles to Africa, where there are grave concerns how it will impact nations with unstable governments, underdeveloped health care systems and existing humanitarian crises.

There have been more than 1000 cases across Africa, where the virus has reached 40 of 54 countries. In sub-Saharan Africa, South Africa has the most cases 274 cases, followed by Burkina Faso, a particularly impoverished west African nation where a large number of government ministers are among the infected. Burkina Faso has 75 cases as of today.

Image result for various countries

So what countries in the world don’t have coronavirus?

North Korea says it has zero cases of the contagion, which is doubtful given its close cultural and travel links to China and the fact its only other land neighbour, South Korea, has seen close to 9000 cases and 102 deaths.

“I’ve spoken directly with people in North Korea and have heard that North Korea declared a state of emergency,” Seo Jae-pyoung, an activist and defector from North Korea, said.

Laos is another country that claims it hasn’t had a case yet, which is unlikely for a country that borders China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, and where the state-run media is closely controlled.

Myanmar, which also borders China, also claims to be virus-free – despite reports at least four patients with symptoms consistent with coronavirus have died quarantine, according to Singapore’s Strait Times.

Other virus-free countries are, Malawi, Comoros, Lesotho, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Mali, Guinea-Bissau,Western Sahara,  Burundi, South Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe.

For other countries, getting on this most undesirable of scoreboards is only a matter of time.

Yemen, already ravaged by war and famine, is bracing for the outbreak to reach its borders.

As the virus spreads across Africa, panic-buying has begun in war-torn Libya and a curfew has been introduced by its UN-backed government, which is yet to confirm a case. The virus has already hit all six countries with which Libya shares a border.

Meanwhile a 20-year-old woman has today been confirmed as the first case in war-ravaged Syria, another struggling country in which it’s feared the pandemic may unleash a humanitarian catastrophe.