Countries Without Reported COVID-19 Cases

These Places Have No Reported COVID-19 Cases

Around the globe, countries are seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases, from Italy to the United States, where second or third waves reveal worse conditions than when the pandemic initially hit. But some countries have staved off the coronavirus pandemic since it began in early 2020, reporting zero cases as of Jan. 28, 2021, according to the World Health Organization.

Thirteen of the 15 countries and territories reporting no cases are islands in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, and are likely experiencing the benefit of bordering only the sea. But their strict travel policies may also be responsible for the islands’ success, as other island nations and territories have not fared as well.

Although these countries are reporting zero cases, that does not rule out that some may fly under the radar. As The Associated Press notes, two countries in particular, North Korea and Turkmenistan, have drawn skepticism from the international community about the accuracy of their health data.

Here are the countries and territories that the WHO says have reported zero cases of COVID-19:

15. Tuvalu

Located about halfway between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu is made up of three reef islands and six atolls, with a combined area of approximately 10 square miles and a population of over 10,000. The independent nation, a member of the Commonwealth, has seen success in closing its borders to travel, with a mandatory quarantine in some cases.

14. Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan‘s non-remote location in Central Asia brings up questions of its ability to ward off the COVID-19 pandemic, which has touched all but one continent in the world. Still, the country has not officially acknowledged any coronavirus cases, though its officials have restricted all commercial travel, mass religious events and encourage social distancing and mask wearing, The Associated Press reports.

13. Tonga

The archipelago that makes up Tonga, with about 170 islands of which 36 are inhabited, is neighbored by Fiji to the northwest, Samoa to the north and Niue to the northeast. The nation has reportedly kept the coronavirus off of its shores by restricting cruise ships in the early stages of the pandemic, closing airports and even instituting a national lockdown, according to The Associated Press, though the country has still seen no cases.

12. Tokelau

Consisting of three tropical coral atolls in the South Pacific Ocean, Tokelau is a dependent territory of New Zealand, although both governments in New Zealand and Tokelau call it a nation. The three atolls have a combined land area of 4 square miles, and the capital rotates annually between the three atolls.

With no airport, Tokelau is accessible primarily by ship. With a population of about 1,500 residents, Tokelau calls itself the first nation to be completely powered by renewable energy.

11. Saint Helena

A British Overseas Territory in the South Atlantic Ocean, Saint Helena is considered one of the most remote locales in the world, lying more than 1,200 miles from the west coast of southwestern Africa and 2,500 miles east of Rio de Janeiro on the South American coastline. A population of roughly 4,500 occupies the 10 mile-by-5 mile island, which was uninhabited until its discovery by the Portuguese in 1502.

10. Samoa

Made up of four inhabited islands and several uninhabited islands, Samoa is one of the westernmost countries in Polynesia, and is an independent nation and member of the Commonwealth. The country’s government prohibited nearly all travel to its islands, except for in exceptional circumstances, in which a mandatory quarantine period was instituted to avoid bringing COVID-19 to the country.

9. Pitcairn Islands

The Pitcairn Islands are a group of four volcanic islands that form the only British Overseas Territory in the Pacific Ocean. Believed to have fewer than 50 full-time residents, the islands are among the least populous national jurisdictions in the world. Residents are biracial, having descended primarily from Tahitians and, famously, mutineers of the British HMS Bounty, who arrived at Pitcairn in 1790.

Despite no reported COVID-19 cases, the U.S. government has warned of a high risk of contracting infectious diseases on the islands.

8. Palau

Palau, an archipelago of more than 300 islands, is located about 800 miles southwest of Guam and over 500 miles east of the Philippines. It is an independent country in free association with the United States. The island nation initially suspended all commercial air travel to stave off the coronavirus pandemic from its borders, later moving to a mandatory quarantining model.

7. North Korea

North Korea is one of only two non-island nations to make this list, although its reporting of zero cases of the novel coronavirus has been questioned. North Korea shares a border with China and South Korea, which some believe would make the reporting of zero cases improbable. North Korea, the largest nation to report zero cases, with a population of 25 million, has instituted a strict lockdown, travel restrictions, and closed its borders, according to The Associated Press.

6. Niue

Located about 1,500 miles northeast of New Zealand where it is politically associated, the island nation of Niue is one of the world’s largest coral islands, and the westernmost island of the Cook Islands, although it operates independently. The country has received support from New Zealand to help combat COVID-19.

5. Nauru

Neighboring Kiribati, Nauru is the third-smallest country in the world by size; the single island, just over 8 square miles, is home to the second smallest population in the world at around 10,000. The country has reportedly kept the coronavirus at bay through similar travel restrictions to their neighboring island nations.

4. Kiribati

Thirty-two atolls, circular coral reefs, and one raised limestone island, make up Kiribati, located about 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii. The country, one of the only nations located in all four hemispheres, instituted travel restrictions to combat COVID-19 early on, made easier given that only a handful of airlines make the trip to the remote nation.

3. Federated States of Micronesia

While the Federated States of Micronesia, made up of over 600 islands, take up fewer than 300 combined square miles of land between four states, it occupies around 1 million square miles of ocean. Although the country has reported zero cases of COVID-19 according to the World Health Organization, it has received support from the U.S., China and Japan throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

2. Cook Islands

Made up of 15 small islands, the Cook Islands is an island nation located in the South Pacific, more than 2,000 miles northeast of New Zealand, where it is politically linked. The country has reportedly kept the virus out with mandatory quarantining upon entry, and temporarily banning recreational boats from its ports, including cruise ships.

1. American Samoa

An unincorporated territory belonging to the United States, American Samoa consists of five islands and two atolls in the South Pacific Ocean. It lies just east of the international date line, while Samoa, just 100 miles away, is just west of the line. The island has a population of about 55,000 and is accessible by air travel.

Countries With No Reported COVID-19 Cases

1. American Samoa

2. Cook Islands

3. Federated States of Micronesia

4. Kiribati

5. Nauru

6. Niue

7. North Korea

8. Palau

9. Pitcairn Islands

10. Saint Helena

11. Samoa

12. Tokelau

13. Tonga

14. Turkmenistan

15. Tuvalu

More from U.S. News

What Iceland Can Teach the World About Minimizing the Coronavirus

10 Countries With the Most Well-Developed Public Health Care Systems

The 10 Safest Countries in the World, Ranked by Perception

Countries Without Reported COVID-19 Cases originally appeared on usnews.com

Update: Jan. 28, 2021, from its original publication date of Nov. 13, 2020.

Related Categories:

Latest News

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up