Friday 1 July 2022 08:30 AM What pandemic? Isolated British island that still hasn't had one Covid case trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 08:30 AM What pandemic? Isolated British island that still hasn't had one Covid case trends now
Friday 1 July 2022 08:30 AM What pandemic? Isolated British island that still hasn't had one Covid case trends now

Friday 1 July 2022 08:30 AM What pandemic? Isolated British island that still hasn't had one Covid case trends now

The UK is entering its fifth Covid wave, and while the effect on hospitals and loss of life has been reduced with every surge of the virus, many experts still expect the latest rise to cause disruption to the economy.  

But there is a little-known sliver of British territory that has yet to endure a single case of the virus, never mind a full-blown wave.

While the rest of the world is still reeling from the effects of lockdowns and mask-mandates, the past two years have been business as usual for the 250 residents on Tristan da Cunha — a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic Ocean.

Located 6,140miles south of London, the British overseas territory is only accessible via a week-long boat ride from Cape Town in South Africa by infrequently passing fishing and research vessels.

Not a single Covid case has reached its shores due to the length of the trip, and boats were turned around if anyone on-board was suspected of carrying the virus.

The island was also able to get vaccines shipped in by the British Government, though these had to be more traditional Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs as the mRNA vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna had to be kept in ultracold temperatures and would not have survived the trip.

Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Tristan da Cunha is the most isolated inhabited island on Earth a factor that has worked to its advantage during the Covid pandemic. The island is pictured here as an albatrosses soars by

Located in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, Tristan da Cunha is the most isolated inhabited island on Earth a factor that has worked to its advantage during the Covid pandemic. The island is pictured here as an albatrosses soars by

Tristan da Cunha is a British overseas territory located 6,140miles from London

Tristan da Cunha is a British overseas territory located 6,140miles from London

Islanders went out on a boat to pick up Covid vaccines that were shipped specially to the island

Islanders went out on a boat to pick up Covid vaccines that were shipped specially to the island

The vaccines being lowered down from the HMS Forth. The jabs had to be of the Oxford/AstraZeneca make as these were the only ones that could survive the trip

The vaccines being lowered down from the HMS Forth. The jabs had to be of the Oxford/AstraZeneca make as these were the only ones that could survive the trip

How Britain's Overseas Territories have fared in the Covid pandemic? 

Note: Some British Overseas territories are military bases where Covid data is has not been made publicly available 

Anguilla (Caribbean)

Total Covid cases: 3,456 

Deaths: 9

Bermuda (North Atlantic) 

Total Covid cases: 15,957 

Deaths: 138

British Antarctic Territory (Antarctica)

Total Covid cases: 0

Deaths: 0

British Virgin Islands (Caribbean)

Total Covid cases: 6,941

Deaths: 63

British Indian Ocean Territory (Indian Ocean)

Total Covid cases: 0

Deaths: 0 

Cayman Islands (Caribbean)

Total Covid cases: 27,171

Deaths: 28

Falkland Islands (South Atlantic Ocean)

Total Covid cases: 1,807

Deaths: 0

Gibraltar (Europe)

Total Covid cases: 19,306

Deaths: 104

Montserrat (Caribbean)

Total Covid cases: 1,016

Deaths: 8

Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands (Pacific Ocean)

Total Covid cases: 0

Deaths: 0

Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (South Atlantic Ocean)

Total Covid cases: 4

Deaths: 0

South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (South Atlantic Ocean)

Total Covid cases: 0

Deaths: 0

Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia (Cyprus)

Total Covid cases: 0

Deaths: 0

Turks and Caicos Islands (North Atlantic Ocean) 

Total Covid cases: 6,211

Deaths: 36

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Stephen Townsend, one of the two joint administrators of Tristan da Cunha, told MailOnline about the islanders' experience of the pandemic.

'As a result of all our precautions, which have kept the island Covid-free, we were able to celebrate Christmas and New Year more or less as normal,' he said.

Mr Townsend said with limited health facilities and an ageing population, they had a great deal to fear from Covid.

'We only have a small medical centre on the island. We do not have an ICU or any ventilators,' he said.

'The population here is relatively elderly, with a number of underlying health complaints. So we have to be very careful.'

Only five families - consisting of 218 individuals - are considered to be resident to the island, with an additional 30 people living there as expatriate workers and their families, including doctors nurses and teachers.

The main settlement of the island is Edinburgh of the Seven Seas, which was resettled in 1963 following an island-wide evacuation two years prior. 

To this day the island does not allow visitors and any returning islanders or workers must be fully vaccinated to be allowed entry into Tristan da Cunha.

They are also required to isolate in an approved Cape Town hotel for 10 days before taking a PCR test

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