The United States, together with other countries, is having a difficult time to combat the growing numbers of coronavirus cases as well as cope with the social and economic turmoil that the pandemic has brought into their countries. People are forced to stay indoors, everyone is encouraged to wear face masks, and practice social distancing, as well as businesses, are forced to stop their activities. But these are not the cases that other countries experience.
The country of New Zealand, for instance, has announced that there is no new case of virus infection since Monday, according to its Ministry of Health. Before this, New Zealand suffered in 1,497 confirmed coronavirus cases and up to 22 deaths.
In addition to this, the World Health Organization (WHO) has announced to the public that there is no reported virus infection to the following countries: Marshall Islands, Comoros, Cook Islands, North Korea, Tuvalu, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, Niue, Tonga, Lesotho, Kiribati, and Niue.
The reasons behind this, according to the assistance profession of the health policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, is that these islands were spared as most of the countries in Asia were quick to respond to the virus outbreak and immediately locked their countries in the hope of stopping the virus from entering their countries. However, cases like Lesotho, Turkmenistan, and North Korea are still not confirmed.
In the case of Lesotho, it was said that the country’s remoted geographical location is difficult to access due to its mountains, and this has what social distancing effective in the country. Also, South Africa has imposed lockdown and this has benefited Lesotho, its neighboring country.
Even though there are still no cases reported yet, some leaders and medical experts are having hesitations and mentioned that there could be some unaccounted cases in the country.
Turkmenistan, on the other hand, was able to avoid the virus despite the hundred thousand cases of its neighboring country, Iran, according to the Turkmenistan leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. However, according to a professor in international relations, one of the reasons that this country has not reported any cases yet is that the country has a lack of testing. It was also believed that the country is suppressing the test result, controlling the social media, and even manipulating death certificates to make daily life in the country normal.
North Korea has claimed to have no cases of coronavirus despite its 880-mile border with China, where the virus began and despite the fact that China is the largest trading partner of the country, relying on the country’s 95% imports.
And since the country is the considered to be the most repressive, secretive, and authoritarian country of all, there is no guarantee that the reports really reflect the reality that is going on in the country, given the fact that the country is already poor in health system, public health, and economy.
Despite the reports of no cases made explicit by the representatives and even the leaders themselves, a lot of medical experts and professionals are skeptical about the provided data, especially that the coronavirus has been quickly spreading.