As the world continues to grapple with coronavirus pandemic with the infections crossing the seven million mark and over 400,000 deaths due to Covid-19, at least nine countries have declared themselves to be free from the virus.
Here is a list of these nations:
1. New Zealand
On June 8, New Zealand announced that the last of its coronavirus patients had recovered with its health officials saying there were no active cases of Covid-19 in the country. The Pacific island nation reported just over 1500 corona patients including 22 who died.
The country had enforced a strict lockdown for nearly seven weeks, in which most businesses were shut and everyone except essential workers had to stay at home.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced lifting of all coronavirus measures in the country from June 9, barring border closure restrictions.
Tanzania’s president on Sunday claimed that his country is free of the coronavirus because of the power of prayer. However, the claim came six weeks after the African nation stopped publicly updating virus data.
“Corona in our country has been removed by the powers of God,” President John Magufuli declared at a church service on Sunday.
Tanzania’s number of-19 cases has been stuck at 509 for six weeks as health officials, opposition figures and some neighbouring countries worry that cases in the East African nation continue to climb. Opposition figures have estimated that cases could be in the tens of thousands.
The Vatican said on June 6 that there were no more cases of Covid-19 within its population after all its 12 patients recovered. The Vatican spokesman Matteo Bruni said in a statement that the last person found to have been infected with the coronavirus in recent weeks had tested negative. The city state did not report any deaths.
A day later, Pope Francis addressed the faithful for the first time in Saint Peter’s Square since the health emergency began.
Fiji declared itself free of coronavirus in the first week of June after all 18 people who had tested positive recovered from Covid-19. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said Friday that the South Pacific island nation had just cleared the last of its active patients.
He wrote on Twitter: “And even with our testing numbers climbing by the day, it’s now been 45 days since we recorded our last case. With no deaths, our recovery rate is 100%” He added: “Answered prayers, hard work, and affirmation of science!” Fiji, which has a population of 900,000, imposed a lockdown in certain areas in April and put in place ongoing border restrictions.
Sixty nine days after its first reported Covid-19 case, Montenegro declared itself coronavirus free on May 24, the first European country to do so. It reported 324 confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness and nine deaths.
The island nation claimed virus-free status as early as May 18 after its health ministry announced full recoveries. It reported 11 confirmed cases but no deaths.
7.St Kitts and Nevis
The West Indies nation became coronavirus free on May 19 when all its 15 confirmed Covid-19 patients reportedly recovered. The government said all cases had travel history.
The island country declared itself Covid-19 free on May 15 following the recovery of its 24th and final confirmed case. The country did not report any death from the virus.
9.Papua New Guniea
The Pacific nation declared itself free of the coronavirus on May 4. It had 24 cases of Covid-19 and no deaths from the virus.