16 Nov 2020. Samoa is one of 7 Pacific Island Countries to remain COVID-19 free with Palau, Micronesia, Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tonga.
North Korea and Turkmenistan also claim to be COVID-19 free, however, the censorship of media and secretive nature of the regimes in those countries casts some doubt on the truthfulness of reports.
Latest Global Numbers
Meantime, Uğur Şahin, the chief executive of BioNTech and scientist behind the first potential Covid-19 vaccine to clear interim clinical trials says he is “very confident” the jab will reduce transmission of the disease, perhaps by 50%, resulting in a “dramatic” reduction in cases.
The German company BioNTech and the US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer announced to worldwide acclaim last week that their jointly developed vaccine candidate appeared to be 90% effective in stopping people from falling ill.
Uğur Şahin, the chief executive of BioNTech, said he expected that further analysis would show that the jab is also effective in stopping spread of the disease, but probably not by as much as 90%. Certainty around its impact will not come until next year, he added.
World Distribution of Cases
New Zealand continues to have the best methods in place compared to the rest of the world. The NZ Ministry of Health developed an effective app, “NZ COVID Tracer” that allows to create a digital diary of places people visit by scanning the official QR codes.
“This gives contact tracers a headstart with identifying anyone who may have been exposed to COVID-19 so we can quickly break the chain of transmission”
New Zealanders are also responsibly coming forth to be tested.
“Yesterday our laboratories completed 10,525 tests for COVID-19, bringing our total number of tests completed to date to 1,179,587. This is the highest number of tests in one day at a weekend since Sunday 16 August. Nearly 70% of the testing done yesterday was in the Auckland region, with another 10% in the Wellington region”.
The new measures — classified as “red” — include non-essential businesses and services to be shut, according to Raisi. The mandatory wearing of masks in public will continue in the capital Tehran, he added.