The countries with no confirmed cases of COVID-19

The John Hopkins University map assessing the amount of COVID-19 cases worldwide.
The John Hopkins University map assessing the amount of COVID-19 cases worldwide.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been sweeping the world however there are still some countries which remain untouched by the virus.

As of Thursday, there are 19 countries where no one has tested positive for the virus and they are all located in Africa, Middle East Asia and Oceania.

But the UN is warning some of these countries may become "decimated" if the virus does spread to some of them.

The nations with no cases are: 

Africa - Lesotho, Comoros, Sao Tome & Principe, Malawi, South Sudan

Asia - Turkmenistan, North Korea, Tajikistan, Yemen

Oceania - Solomon Islands, Samoa, Palau, Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Federated State of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Tonga, Marshall Islands 

But experts are warning many of these countries are high-risk for COVID-19.

War-torn Yemen in the middle east is concerning the UN as the country's five-year-long conflict has left Yemen with a shattered healthcare system and a weakened population.

The UN is also calling for a ceasefire in the war, saying people should be fighting the virus not fighting each other.

Recently the President of the United States cut off funding for many healthcare programmes and aid in Yemen, the New York Times reported.

This has left experts more concern as around 80% of Yemenis are reliant on humanitarian aid.

Africa was one of the last continents to be hit by coronavirus and now health officials are trying to get information about prevention out to citizens as the number of cases grows.

UNCTAD director of globalization and development strategies Richard Kozul-Wright said they are mainly developing countries with poor health care systems.

"Now, if that crisis comes as these countries have been significantly weakened by the economic shockwaves from the crisis," he said.

"And that is a very vicious combination of an economic crisis and a health crisis. So we've got to find ways of strengthening the healthcare system and services in developing countries and building up resilience on that front very quickly."

In Turkmenistan, there are reports the Government has banned the use of the word "coronavirus" to minimise the panic around the pandemic.

According to one report, police are arresting citizens who discuss the virus news.co.au says.

Some experts are sceptical the Asian nation does not have any cases due to the secrecy from the nation's Government.

Another country with no confirmed cases which observers aren't sure about is North Korea due to a lack of testing equipment, the New York Times reported.

The country has been in lockdown since the end of January bringing in extensive precautionary measures including shutting off business with China, which accounts for nine-tenths of the country's external trade.

According to the John Hopkins University map which is monitoring the COVID-19 situation there are over 932,600 cases worldwide, of which 46,000 people have died and 193,000 have recovered.

Contact Newshub with your story tips:
news@newshub.co.nz