The spread of COVID-19 across the globe has accelerated rapidly. Confirmed cases have risen to 56,270,020, a one-day increase of 642,979. Fatal cases hit 1,349,728, which is up by 11,598. Most experts believe each of these numbers should be much higher because of the difficulty of accurate data collection and diagnosis in most countries. One country has only one case. It is an island nation far away from other landmasses.
Vanuatu sits in the South Pacific Ocean. It is 1,000 miles east of Australia and 340 miles northeast of New Caledonia.
The first Europeans came to the island in 1606. The United Kingdom and France both made claims to it. Vanuatu did not become an independent nation until 1980, when it became the Republic of Vanuatu. Shortly after that, it joined the United Nations.
Vanuatu is an archipelago made up of 43 islands. The country covers 4,800 square miles. Only 1,800 square miles is land above water.
The population is just below 250,000. That is up from about 75,000 in the early 1960s.
The single COVID-19 case was diagnosed in a man who had visited the United States. He quarantined and then tested positive. He was asymptomatic.
Vanuatu’s government made an official statement about the incident and why it did not expect the disease to spread. “Physical distancing and personal protection measures were applied and maintained during the flight, throughout the arrival process, during transport to and during registration at the quarantine facility.”
The single case is a reminder of how much less fortunate the balance of the world is, even though Vanuatu benefits from isolation and a small population.
The United States remains the hardest-hit nation by far. Confirmed cases in America number 11,613,875, up by 174,864 yesterday. Deaths from the disease passed a horrible mark of 250,000, as they hit 253,940, up by 2,389.
India has the second most confirmed cases in the world with 8,960,098, after a gain of 47,191 yesterday. Fatal cases in the world’s second-most populous nation reached 131,639, up by 608. Health care officials in the nation put the actual figures at several times the official ones. It is difficult to make accurate counts in India’s massive cities, with their many that contain extremely poor people. And the rural areas in India are often remote.
Brazil is third, with a total confirmed case count at 5,947,403, which is up by 35,645. Fatal cases in the country sit at 167,497, after rising by 798.