DURBAN - While Coronavirus cases have crossed the seven million mark globally, including over 400 hundred thousand deaths, very few countries have managed to successfully stamped out Covid-19.
On Monday, New Zealand announced that it had eliminated the disease after health officials said the last known infected person had recovered. Just over 1,500 people contracted the virus in New Zealand, including 22 who died.
Seychelles recorded a total of 11 cases of Covid-19, with no deaths and all have since recovered.The country - population 97,096 – reported its first two cases on March 14, which grew to four within days.
Montenegro was the last European country to report a case of Covid-19 – and the first to declare itself free of the virus. Its first case was reported on March 17, and its total numbers reached 324 with nine deaths. Sixty-eight days later, on May 24, Montenegro reported no active cases.
Fiji announced it was Covid-19 free Friday after the island nation's last known infected patient was given the all-clear, continuing the Pacific's remarkable record of success against the virus. There was panic among Fiji's 930,000 population when the first coronavirus case was announced in mid-March, but strict isolation measures and border controls kept a lid on infections, which peaked at 18 confirmed cases with no deaths.
The West Indies nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis became free of Covid-19 on May 19, when all of its 15 confirmed cases had recovered. The state took a raft of measures, including closing airports, schools and non-essential businesses, and ordering a curfew and the wearing of masks.
East Timor in south-east Asia reported its first case on March 21, which prompted school closures, public gatherings limited to five and all international arrivals to be quarantined for 14 days. On May 15, the country reported the recovery of its 24th and final confirmed case.
According to Johns Hopkins University, most of the countries that are Covid-19 free are small island nations with tiny populations and vastly smaller tallies than New Zealand's 1504 confirmed or probable cases.
Meanwhile, Tanzania's President John Magufuli has declared the country "coronavirus-free". According to reports, the President announced to worshippers in a church in the capital, Dodoma.
"The corona disease has been eliminated thanks to God," he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern over the government's strategy on Covid-19. On 29 April the government stopped publishing data on the number of coronavirus cases in the country. there were 509 cases, with 21 deaths.
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