Believe it or not, there are countries without coronavirus, let's have a look and see which ones they are! (Updated: 24th January 2021)
The spread of the coronavirus took us all by surprise, and the speed at which it has spread all over the world is alarming. So much so, that it is almost hard to believe that some countries still have no reported cases of the Coronavirus/COVID-19.
Well, there are in fact countries without coronavirus!
The UN officially recognises 193 countries.
As of JANUARY 24TH 2021, only 7 countries have not confirmed any cases of COVID-19. Many of these countries without COVID-19 are Pacific Island countries in Oceania.
Below is a list of countries without coronavirus that currently has declared no cases of COVID-19.
1. North Korea 🇰🇵
2. Turkmenistan 🇹🇲
3. Kiribati 🇰🇮
4. Tonga 🇹🇴
5. Palau 🇵🇼
6. Tuvalu 🇹🇻
7. Nauru 🇳🇷
As of 24/01/2021, these countries all have no reported cases of the COVID-19 novel Coronavirus.
So how did these countries manage to be amongst the very few to have no cases of a virus that has affected more than a million people worldwide?
UPDATE: As of 3rd October 2020 the Solomon Islands declared their first case of coronavirus meaning they no longer belong to the list of countries without coronavirus.
UPDATE: As of 29th October 2020 the Marshall Islands declared their first two cases of coronavirus, meaning they no longer qualify to belong to the list of countries without covid-19.
UPDATE: As of 11th November, Vanuatu declared its first case of coronavirus. Although treated as a border case, they no longer qualify to belong to the list of countries without covid-19.
UPDATE: As of 8th January, Micronesia declared its first case of coronavirus.
Let's take a look at the countries without coronavirus in more detail, and perhaps get an insight into why they currently have no reported cases of Coronavirus.
(In population descending order).
UPDATE: North Korea reported its first SUSPECTED case of COVID-19 on 26th July. The southern area of Kaesong has gone under full alert. It was then confirmed this was NOT a coronavirus case.
North Korea was the first country to close its borders.
As a neighbour of China, the country closed its borders on January 21st and hasn't re-opened since. It then implemented strict measures for those coming into the country (foreigners and nationals) including month or two-month quarantine.
While the North Korean authorities report zero cases one might wonder how China's nearest neighbour could truly be free of the virus. We suggest you do a good bit of research for a more balanced opinion!
Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and Afghanistan - all countries with reports of coronavirus infections. Most of the land borders were closed more than a month ago, and in early February Turkmenistan cancelled many flights and all flights to and from China.
There are rumours that the official reports may not quite match the official statement, and it was also brought to the media attention that Turkmenistan had allegedly "banned" the word Coronavirus, although this wasn't exactly true.
There are no cases in Kiribati, but a state of public emergency has been declared. From 30th March, schools closed for 2 weeks.
Tonga has been strict with travel rules since February.
Since Fiji's first reported case of coronavirus, Tonga closed its borders to foreigners and only allowed foreigners to leave who were travelling back on flights to their own countries. As of 29th of March, Tonga has been in lockdown. And locked-down our tour leader Zoe with it!
Tonga started repatriation flights for Tongans in mid-July to get Tongans back from Fiji. The flight was limited to less than 60 people, all of whom are under strict quarantine at the same hotel in town. This hotel is strongly guarded by police and the road it's on has been closed.
8 suspected cases were tested, all came back negative.
There was previously one person under investigation for having coronavirus after having travelled from Guam, however, he tested negative. There is currently no coronavirus cases in Palau.
Often known as one of, if not the, least visited country in the world, Tuvalu sees fewer than 200 tourists per year. This has probably been a massive help in preventing an outbreak in this country with a very small population.
Nauru, a country so small that you can walk around it in one day, has also managed to stay coronavirus-free. Along with Tuvalu, it holds the record for being one of the least visited countries in the world.
Life stuck in paradise, and a paradise without COVID-19 might sound like the dream to a lot of people now.
And in a lot of ways, it is. Here, we can freely walk around, go to restaurants, go to bars and clubs we don’t wear masks, and we’re not constantly reminded to wash our hands (although we do, because you should anyway!)
But being stuck in Tonga has its downsides. Being stuck anywhere has its downsides. But Tonga is especially isolating. Never heard of Tonga? Don’t worry - unless you’re a rugby fan, you probably won’t have either. It’s a small island nation about 2 hours flight away from Fiji, located in the South Pacific ocean. In other words, really far from everything.
And just because the virus is not here in physical presence, it’s certainly entered our lives here in one way or another.
NOTE: This list of countries without coronavirus includes ONLY countries that have no COVID-19 cases and NEVER have. They are completely coronavirus free as coronavirus has not entered the country borders. These countries without COVID-19 are from the 193 UN recognised countries. This list of countries without coronavirus DOES NOT include territories or dependencies. It does also not include countries that have declared themselves COVID-19 free after all cases cured.
NOTE: This is largely self-declared and some have certainly raised scepticism among observers (and us!).
This list is not necessarily backed by the opinion of professionals such as the World Health Organisation.