COVID-19: This Nation Has One Case

Globally, there are 103,034,951 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Because many nations do not have the infrastructure to track data on the disease, and many people die undiagnosed, the actual number could be double that. Global fatal cases are put at 2,229,565, which also could be substantially low.

One nation has recorded only a single case, the lowest national count in the world. Vanuatu, officially known as the Republic of Vanuatu, is made up of a group of 83 islands. The distance between the northernmost and southernmost island is 800 miles. The population of the country is just under 308,000.

The nation is far from any large concentration of population, well northeast of Australia and north of New Zealand. Coincidentally, perhaps, those two nations have among the lowest infection rates in the world.

The Republic of Vanuatu is a relatively new nation, founded in 1980. For decades before that, it was overseen by the U.K. and French governments.

According to the CIA World Factbook, as measured by purchasing power parity, its gross domestic product is $945 million. That is among the smallest in the world. Most of its economy is based on agriculture. Over 99% of the population is Melanesian. It is a parliamentary republic.

According to Yahoo! News: “Vanuatu closed its air and maritime borders last March in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, amid fears its limited health care system would be unable to cope with an outbreak of the virus.” It has rigidly enforced the decision.

When it announced the first and only case of COVID-19, the government also made its plans clear. On November 16, it said:

On 10 November 2020, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was detected during routine day 5 testing of an asymptomatic person in quarantine. This first case remains in the isolation unit at the Vila Central Hospital with no symptoms, and will remain so until given health clearance for release.

The government means to keep the case count at one.

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