Only a few places on earth are free from the coronavirus. And those countries are mainly far away, in the Pacific. Besides, only five countries in the African continent yet, are free from the virus.
It is a bit of a search for that ‘little Gallic village’, but there are still places on earth where the new coronavirus has not arrived. Eighteen countries share this special status – Free from the coronavirus – with the Sao Tome and Principles.
More than a million people worldwide are now infected with the new coronavirus. Almost every country is affected. Any country out of 193 nations registered with the United Nations? No, there are still a few rare corona-free spots.
Irish data journalist Niall McCarthy of Germany-based Statista conducted research based on data collected about the virus from such authoritative sources as Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Until this today, he counted eighteen countries that have not yet been reached by the virus.
In a telephone explanation, McCarthy immediately raises some questions, because one of the countries that have proudly declared itself uncontaminated is North Korea. South Korea had previously received news reports that there were indeed infections in their closed northern neighbors.
This also seems likely, given the very intensive trade along the Chinese border. The fact that all statistics are secret in North Korea does not contribute to transparency either. But formally leader Kim Jong-un has done phenomenally well.
McCarthy does not exclude Kim from telling the truth AD reported. “North Korea is simply difficult to access, especially for Western tourists. The North Koreans quarantined the embassy district in Pyongyang very early. But no one is sure how things are going in the country.”
Myanmar, also not a model of openness, did not have a single sick person until very recently, but now one has been found. Yemen, where a horrific civil war is raging, is also formally free from the coronavirus. The authorities will have little time to find out whether someone died from the new coronavirus, malnutrition, or a bullet.
For a long time, the map of the countries that escaped Covid-19 showed quite a few African countries. In recent days, a handful of states have dropped out because they have reported one or more cases. That number could be so low because the population there is relatively young and robust, and the virus mainly affects the elderly.
“Heat is also likely a factor,” McCarthy continues. A trend he has seen in recent weeks is that the Southern Hemisphere, where it is warmer now, did not register such explosive epidemics as the Northern Hemisphere. Why? “Maybe also because Italians and Spaniards live much more in the same house with their parents and grandparents. Then you have an increased risk of infection. I think the virus does roam the southern hemisphere, but much more slowly. Climate, social conditions, and accessibility are certainly factors.”
The data journalist draws a logical conclusion: the least visited countries have the least cases. Or, which is very well possible, because of the poor medical infrastructure in Africa in particular, it is merely challenging to know whether someone is infected or not. In any case, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principles, Lesotho, and South Sudan would still not have had any claims and free from the coronavirus.
It is more likely that small, really very remote islands are really virus-free. According to McCarthy, this applies to Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Sao, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, the Solomons Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu in the Pacific. The question then is: how long?
“I think this list will keep going for a while. Those islands are hard to reach. And I don’t think, for example, that the North Koreans will suddenly report illnesses next week.” Then there are Tajikistan and Turkmenistan. The latter country is also a particular case. There, the president has forbidden the word ‘corona’. So it is not useful there.