SEATTLE, Washington — COVID-19 has ravaged the world. Since the initial outbreak in early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly every country on Earth. The symptoms of the respiratory disease include fever or chills, a cough and difficulty breathing. However, people have reported having a multitude of different afflictions that can also indicate infection. As of September 2020, coronavirus has caused over one million deaths globally, with millions more infected. Even so, there are some countries that have actually succeeded in the eradication of COVID-19. In these nations, there are virtually no new cases being reported and no large outbreaks of the disease. Here is a list of the top countries that eradicated COVID-19 first.
Top Countries that have Eradicated the Coronavirus
- New Zealand— New Zealand made headlines in June 2020 for eradicating the coronavirus. Though not the first country to do so, New Zealand’s population of 5 million made eradicating COVID-19 a significant feat. The island geography of the country paired with the strict lockdowns enforced early on by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern heavily contributed to New Zealand’s ability to rid itself of the disease.
- Iceland— Iceland is another island country that became coronavirus free as of June 2020. Though Iceland originally had one of the highest infection rates in Europe, it also boasted a low death rate. Now, Iceland can also boast that it has eradicated COVID-19 within its borders. The nation was able to achieve eradication by intense contact tracing and quarantine. As of July 2020, Iceland has re-opened to visitors. However, all who visit are subject to a mandatory COVID-19 test and, if positive, a 14-day quarantine.
- Montenegro— Montenegro was the first European nation to declare itself free of the coronavirus. The country initially shut down all borders, including airports, seaports and land borders. It also heavily restricted gatherings and shut down many businesses. Though these measures hurt Montenegro’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism, it was a small price to pay as the country was able to eliminate COVID-19 relatively quickly.
- Fiji— Fiji, an island in the Pacific Ocean with a population of approximately 900,000 people, eliminated COVID-19 after all 18 people that were infected in the country recovered safely. The country placed restrictions on access to borders and issued a lockdown in certain areas after cases were confirmed on the island. Though the country has reported quite a few imported cases of COVID-19, the government’s actions prevented the virus from spreading further.
- Faroe Islands— Although the Faroe Islands are technically an autonomous nation belonging to Denmark, their isolated location in the Atlantic allows them to have mostly eradicated COVID-19. Of the 463 confirmed cases in September, 428 have recovered and zero have died. On a daily basis, the country has reported only 1-2 new cases. Therefore, it seems that this island nation has effectively curbed the spread of the virus.
It is unlikely there will never be any new cases within the borders of these nations again. Yet, for now, they have been able to deal with whatever the disease throws at them efficiently and effectively. Despite COVID-19 changing the world, these countries have been able to reopen and continue life as it was before the outbreak. Though it is easy to feel helpless and hopeless when thinking of a global pandemic, these countries allow everyone to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
– Paige Musgrave