New Delhi: Since reporting the first case of COVID-19 back in December 2019, the world continues to fight the virus and its subsequent variants, 2 years later. As of February 18, there have been 416,614,051 confirmed cases while 5,844,097 have succumbed to the virus. In the last two years, the world has seen record breaking medical emergencies, overwhelmed healthcare infrastructure and recognised the contribution of the frontline workers, and an overall shift in the lifestyle with masks and COVID protocols, due to the lurking virus. However, there are some countries that are ‘COVID free’, as per WHO.
WHO released a country wise breakdown of COVID-19 cases across the world and there are nearly ten nations that have recorded zero cases of the heavily transmissible virus. Most of these countries and territories are islands in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and are likely to be experiencing the benefit of bordering only the sea.
The number of these countries used to be higher until sometime back, but the situation has now changed. A volcano erupted in Tonga recently, and so COVID-19 out broke after ships brought aid to the island nation. Similarly, Cook Islands also reported its first case last week.
Here is the list of remaining countries with zero COVID-19 cases, as listed by WHO:
Island nation of Tuvalu is a group of three reef islands and six atolls. Tuvalu saved the country from COVID-19 by closing the borders and implementing mandatory quarantine. According to WHO data, nearly 50 people in Tuvalu are fully vaccinated per 100 population.
Niue is situated in South Pacific Ocean and is known for its coal-reef dive sites. According to WHO, more than 79 people per 100 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 here.
WHO has listed this tiny group of atolls in the South Pacific, near New Zealand as Covid-19 free.
Located in the Pacific Ocean, Pitcairn Islands are also listed by the organisation as COVID-19 free. 74 people per 100 are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 here, as per WHO.
Situated near Australia, the tiny island nation of Nauru used to one serve as a Japanese outpost during the World War II.
Today, according to the WHO list, nearly 68 people per 100 are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 here.
Saint Helena is a British Overseas Territory situated in the South Atlantic Ocean. According to the WHO data, 58.16 persons per 100 are fully vaccinated in here.
Micronesia is spread across the western Pacific Ocean comprising more than 600 islands. It is has of four states – Chuuk, Kosrae, Pohnpei, and Yap – that together compose the Federated States of Micronesia. According to WHO, per 100 vaccination coverage in Micronesia is 38.37.
Furthermore, WHO has listed Turkmenistan and North Korea as free of COVID-19, as these two nations have not officially acknowledged any case of the infection.
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, that is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.