Hawaii has more than 500 cases of the coronavirus while Guam, on the other end of the Pacific Ocean, has over 130 (not counting the crew of the USS Theodore Roosevelt).
But 15 nations have thus far managed to dodge the virus, including many Pacific islands, according to the Lowy Institute, a nonpartisan, independent think tank in Sydney, Australia.
The nations include Kiribati, Nauru, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu, some of which have travel restrictions in place.
“The small island developing states of the South Pacific are among the world’s most isolated countries, yet given their lack of health infrastructure and intensive care units, an outbreak of COVID-19 could place them under enormous strain,” the institute reported on Tuesday.
Chuuk Lagoon is in the Federated States of Micronesia.
Mark Edward Harris/Civil Beat
The same goes for Palau, the Marshall Islands and the Federated States of Micronesia, Pacific nations north of the equator that are also known as the Freely Associated States.
Many of these nations have instituted “stringent measures on air and water travel from ‘high-risk countries'”such as China and the United States.
The other nations also not reporting — or perhaps not acknowledging — any COVID-19 cases are North Korea, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Lesotho (located within South Africa) and the Comoros — “a small, seldom-visited” Indian Ocean archipelago.
Sign up for our FREE morning newsletter and face each day more informed.
Support local journalism
Studies have shown that when local journalism disappears, government financing costs go up, fewer people run for public office, elected officials become less responsive to their constituents, and voter turnout decreases. Our small nonprofit newsroom works hard every day to present local news in a deep and transparent way, without fear or favor. We also rely on donations from readers like you to keep us afloat. The more support we receive; the stronger, more sustainable our journalism becomes; the more accountable we are to you. Please consider supporting our Honolulu Civil Beat with a tax-deductible gift.