<!– There are 15 coronavirus spared countries in the world –>
The coronavirus has affected 210 countries, territories around the world and several cruise ships.
But 15 countries, including two in Africa have been spared, as at 12 April.
The countries are: Comoros and Lesotho in Africa.
Also spared are North Korea, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in Asia.
Then there are a host of small nations in the Pacific.
They are Tonga, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau.
Others are Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Samoa and Solomon Islands.
That North Korea remains free of the virus is surprising. It has three virus-stricken neighbours.
It shares boundaries with China, where the virus started in December last year.
It shares boundaries with Russia, which has close to 16,000 cases.
And it shares an umbilical cord with South Korea, with over 10,000 cases.
Why has it been spared?
North Korea shut its borders with China in January after the first coronavirus cases were detected there.
It also put thousands of its own people and hundreds of foreigners – including diplomats – into isolation.
Then it mounted disinfection drives.
The World Health Organization said 709 people have been tested for the virus as of April 2.
Those tested were 11 foreigners and 698 North Koreans.
More than 24,800 people have also been released from quarantine.
At a meeting on Saturday, the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party called for further tightening of measures.
Photos released by North Korea’s state media showed that none of the committee members, including Kim Jong Un wore a mask.
They also did not observe social distancing as they sat close to each other.
The Pacific Islands have been spared because they are remote places, seldom receiving visitors.
However, the authorities in the island are not letting down their guards, according to a BBC report.
Nauru for instance rolled out proactive measures on 2 March.
It banned travellers from China, South Korea, and Italy.
Five days later, Iran was added to the list
In mid-March, Nauru Airlines suspended flights to Fiji, Kiribati, and the Marshall Islands.
Its only other route to Brisbane was reduced from three a week to once a fortnight.
After that, all returnee nationals from Australia were quarantined in local hotels.
It is a policy that President Lionel Aingimea called “capture and containment”.
Nauru is not the only small Pacific country to have declared a national emergency.
Kiribati, Tonga, Vanuatu, and others did the same.
“We’re keeping things at the border,” Nauru’s leader Aingimea said.
“We’re using our airport as the border and our transit facilities as part of our border.”
Lesotho and Comoros
Lesotho is a landlocked country in Southern Africa, while Comoros is an island off the Pacific coast of Africa.
Comoros authorities introduced a number of precautionary measures in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
On 23 March, all international flights were suspended until further notice.
Ports are closed to traffic from affected countries.
Wedding celebrations, commemorations and political gatherings have been banned until further notice. Private schools have closed.
Lesotho similarly imposed preventive measures.
On 25 March, government announced restrictions on movement from midnight on 29 March until 21 April.
Lesotho’s borders are closed until midnight of 21 April.
Movement of persons in or out of Lesotho is prohibited.
SAA Airlink flights to Johannesburg Airport have been suspended.
Maseru Bridge, Maputsoe Bridge and Moshoeshoe International Airport remain open for conveyance of essential goods and services only.
Non-essential travel within and outside the country is prohibited.
The exemption is travel connected with food, medical supplies and essential household goods.
Entry/Exit to provide or receive emergency medical services for a life threatening condition is allowed.
But this must be done with approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
How long will these 15 countries remain free of the rampaging virus?
By Sunday 1,846,954 people had been infected by the virus.
The global death toll was also 113,885.
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