Soon they will be counted on two hands: on Saturday, the small Pacific state of Palau lost its status as one of the last countries on the planet without a corona case. The Ministry of Health reported the first two cases – but at the same time gave the all-clear. The two travelers from the US territory of Guam tested positive for the coronavirus after their entry and were quarantined together with their contact persons.
“We call on everyone to keep a calm head,” explained the Ministry of Health, which decided against a lockdown. The reason: More than 80 percent of the 18,000 inhabitants on the island are already fully vaccinated. President Surangel Whipps said the island nation “was Covid-free, but now it is Covid-safe.”
WHO still lists 13 countries without coronavirus
Palau is located about a thousand kilometers east of the Philippines and was one of only 13 countries without corona infection until Saturday, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Although the country had already reported a corona case in May for an immigrant-but this was not counted by the WHO, since the infection had already happened long before the arrival in Palau and there was no longer any risk of infection.
At the beginning of the corona pandemic, Palau quickly isolated itself and closed its borders-despite massive consequences for the important tourism industry. Most other countries on the WHO list are also small Pacific island states. With the exception of North Korea and Turkmenistan, but where there have long been doubts about the accuracy of the official account of Covid freedom.