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Pfizer and BioNTech released early study results indicating that their vaccine prevented more than 90% of infections with the virus that causes COVID-19.

USA TODAY

A small Pacific island nation has recorded its first case of the novel coronavirus, shortening the list of places untouched by the global pandemic.

Vanuatu, a country of just under 300,000 people located in the south Pacific Ocean, according to the CIA, reported its first COVID-19 case on Tuesday. The positive test was recorded in a Vanuatu citizen who returned to the nation from a “higher-risk location” in the United States, the country’s health ministry reported. 

The case was an asymptomatic 23-year-old man who returned to Vanuatu from the U.S. on Nov. 4, according to Vanuatu’s health ministry.

He was physically distanced from other passengers on the plane and “personal protection measures were applied and maintained during the flight, throughout the arrival process, during transport to and during registration at the quarantine facility,” the ministry said in a statement.

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The ministry added: “The person had been identified during pre-travel registration as traveling from a higher-risk location, therefore was seated separately at the back of the plane and was screened and transported separately from other arriving passengers,” the ministry said in a news release.

The man didn’t share a room with anyone else while at the quarantine facility, according to the health ministry. He also “adhered to all appropriate measures throughout the travel and quarantine.” The one positive test is not considered an outbreak. 

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The CIA describes Vanuatu as a group of islands with a comparative area “slightly larger than Connecticut.” It’s located “about three-quarters of the way from Hawaii to Australia,” according to the agency. 

There are few remaining places in the world that haven’t reported positive COVID-19 cases, according to the World Health Organization in its “Situation by Country, Territory & Area” table on its website. They are almost all remote locations, including the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Samoa and Tonga.

There are more than 52 million cases worldwide, including more than 10 million in the U.S., the most of any country, according to data collected by Johns Hopkins University. 

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