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The coronavirus, officially termed COVID-19, continues to permeate the globe at an exponential rate, with countries large and small documenting new infections with each passing hour.
One week ago, there were at least 525,000 confirmed cases and almost 24,000 deaths as a result of the novel pathogen. But as of Thursday, April 9 there were well over 1.5 million infections recorded globally, and some 91,000 fatalities.
A month ago, a Fox News tabulation affirmed that there were some 63 countries that had not declared any known infections in their borders. Two weeks ago, there were only 19. One week ago, it was down to 15.
But as it currently stands, just 12 nations have not yet reported cases to world officials.
So which are they, and what is their population?
Comoros - 814,000
Kiribati - 116,300
Lesotho - 2.2 million
Palau - 21,000
Samoa - 196,440
Solomon Islands - 611,300
Tajikistan - 8.9 million
Tonga - 108,000
Turkmenistan - 5.8 million
Tuvalu - 11,192
Vanuatu - 276,250
Yemen - 28.2 million
However, public health officials and global experts caution that just because a country has not yet reported a case of coronavirus, it does not mean that none exists. For some, there is simply a lack of testing resources available, and for other nations, it is a matter of authoritarian repression.
North Korea, which borders China – the hub from which the pandemic began late last year – has not even done so much as to acknowledge coronavirus. However, leaders inside the hermit kingdom are, according to regional reports and intelligence assessments, battling thousands of infections. The Financial Times reported that Pyongyang has "secretly" turned to international organizations and contacts in a bid for desperate help in controlling the spread.
"The government has testing kits and they know how to use them, but (the number of kits) is not sufficient," a source told the publication. "Hence, (officials) are requesting all organizations to support them in this regard."