These are the last COVID-free places on Earth: Antarctica, five islands in South Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — From Argentina to Zimbabwe, from the Vatican to the White House, the coronavirus has spread relentlessly. It’s been confirmed on every continent but one and in nearly every country. Yet a few places have yet to report even a single case of infection. Some have been genuinely spared so far, while others may be hiding the truth. Here’s a closer look:

PACIFIC ISLANDS: The largest cluster of countries without the coronavirus is in the South Pacific. Tonga, Kiribati, Samoa, Micronesia and Tuvalu are among the small island nations yet to report a single case. They haven’t been spared from the pandemic’s effects, however.

Tonga managed to keep the virus out by stopping cruise ships from docking and closing the airport in March, says Paula Taumoepeau, the president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He says the government even imposed a lockdown, even though there were no known cases. These days, only people who have first tested negative are allowed to return on occasional repatriation flights. He says he finds it hard to believe the confirmed death toll in the U.S. alone exceeds twice his entire nation’s population of just over 100,000.

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