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September 23, 2021

American Samoa recorded its first Covid-19 case of the pandemic Friday as a traveler from Hawaii tested positive for the coronavirus upon arriving in the U.S. territory, taking itself off a dwindling list of countries and territories that haven’t reported any positive Covid-19 cases to the World Health Organization (WHO) since the pandemic began—here are the places that are still Covid-free:

The vast majority of the places that have kept Covid-19 out are other island nations and territories, according to the WHO: the Cook Islands, Nauru, Niue, Tokelau, Saint Helena, the Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Pitcairn Islands and Kiribati.

Many of those islands have been helped by strict Covid-19 protocols that have severely restricted outside visitors, as well as by being small islands with relatively few visitors and low population counts.

The largest countries that haven’t reported any Covid-19 cases to the WHO are North Korea and Turkmenistan, though both of those countries are widely suspected to have had Covid-19 cases that have gone unreported.

A June report of a meeting in which North Korean leader Kim Jong Un criticized officials for causing a coronavirus-related “crisis” raised speculation the country was dealing with an outbreak of the virus.

Turkmenistan has historically hid outbreaks of other diseases like HIV/AIDS and plague, experts noted to BBC News in March 2020, and human rights activists have decried the government’s alleged efforts to conceal its Covid-19 outbreaks, with the BBC reporting the country may currently be undergoing a third Covid-19 surge.

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