New Zealand joins an exclusive club of nations that have successfully stamped out Covid-19.
According to Johns Hopkins University, just eight other states which registered infections today report zero active cases – most of them small island nations with tiny populations and vastly smaller tallies than New Zealand's 1504 confirmed or probable cases.
Montenegro was the last European country to report a case of Covid-19 – and the first to declare itself free of the virus. Its first case was reported on March 17, and its total numbers reached 324. Sixty-eight days later, on May 24, Montenegro reported no active cases. The country – population 622,359 - implemented a mix of measures to stop the virus, including the closure of many businesses, mandatory masks, limits on public gatherings and travel bans. As at this week, the country's land borders with Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania were open. Although no testing was required at the border, a 14-day quarantine was in place for anyone coming from a country with more than 25 cases per 100,000 population.
The state in East Africa – population 6 million and area 117,600 sq km – reported on May 15 that its 39th and final case had fully recovered. Its first case – a resident returning from Norway - was reported on March 21 and in April, the country went into lockdown.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Covid-19 came to the remote Pacific state on March 20 – and that initial case was followed by seven more over the next four weeks. By May 4, all those cases were reported to have recovered, with 2,400 tests having been carried out, mostly in Port Moresby. The country – population 8.9 million - responded to the crisis swiftly, banning travellers from Asia and closing its border with Indonesia. The Government also introduced tough restrictions over the country's National Capital District, including a night-time curfew and bans on public gatherings and public transport.
The archipelagic state in the Indian Ocean recorded just 11 cases of Covid-19, and all have since recovered. The country - population 97,096 – reported its first two cases on March 14, which grew to four within days. By that stage, Seychelles had already announced a temporary ban on cruise ships, along with any travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran. It later clamped down restrictions tighter with a travel ban that came into effect on April 8.
The Holy See reported just 12 cases, including 10 employees and one resident of the Vatican City. As at June 6, all had tested negative. The tiny jurisdiction within Rome acted swiftly, closing its tourist attractions, along with regular public appearances of its most famous resident, Pope Francis, who opted for live-streams over the internet instead. Residents of Casa Santa Marta were reportedly working from their rooms and meals were now served in two shifts to allow for social distancing.
SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS
The West Indies nation became free of Covid-19 on May 19, when all of its 15 confirmed cases had recovered. With a population of just 52,441, the federation recorded its first cases on March 24, when a 21-year-old man and a 57-year-old woman arrived from New York. The state took a raft of measures, including closing airports, schools and non-essential businesses, and ordering a curfew and the wearing of masks.
The Pacific state reported its first case on March 19 – and by April 20, all of the 18 cases it since confirmed on the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu had recovered. Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama oversaw a response that included a staged ban on flights from certain countries, a 15-day mandatory quarantine for people arriving and closures of schools and non-essential businesses. The pandemic has hit the tourist destination hard – and its reserve bank has forecast the domestic economy will tip into a recession after a decade of economic growth.
East Timor also acted quickly against Covid-19, putting in place travel restrictions for non-nationals who had visited China as early as February 10, banning anyone who had visited the outbreak's ground zero of Hubei, and closing the border with Indonesia. The island country in south-east Asia nonetheless reported its first case on March 21, which prompted school closures, public gatherings limited to five and all international arrivals to be quarantined for 14 days. On May 15, the country reported the recovery of its 24th and final confirmed case.
• The countries listed were those that had registered infections but had no active cases at the time of reporting. It didn't include those that have reported lengthy periods with no community transmission - such as Vietnam - or those that had kept Covid-19 out completely, such as Vanuatu.