NZ ranked 1st in countries that handled COVID-19 pandemic well by Australian think tank, Singapore ranks 13th

The Australian think tank, the Lowy Institute, has produced a COVID Performance Index to measure the coronavirus response of nearly 100 nations.

In its ranking, the Lowy Institute has named New Zealand the country that handled the COVID-19 pandemic most effectively than any other country in the world. Brazil is ranked as the worst country in its response to the pandemic.

The top 10 countries that responded the best in handling the coronavirus outbreak are:

While New Zealand took top spot, it was closely followed by Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand, which were ranked second, third and fourth, respectively.

Singapore was not ranked in the top 10. It was ranked 13th after Estonia (11th) and Uruguay (12th).

US and India who have the world’s top 1 and 2 number of confirmed cases were ranked 94th and 86th respectively. Lowy did not rate China citing a lack of publicly available testing data.

The Lowy’s index tracked 6 measures of COVID-19 in 98 countries for which data was available. The period examined spans the 36 weeks the followed every country’s hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19, using data available to 9 Jan 2021. Fourteen-day rolling averages of new daily figures were then calculated for the following indicators:

  • Confirmed cases
  • Confirmed deaths
  • Confirmed cases per million people
  • Confirmed deaths per million people
  • Confirmed cases as a proportion of tests
  • Tests per thousand people

An average across these indicators was then calculated for each country in each period and normalized to produce a score from 0 (worse performing) to 100 (best performing). The indicators show how well or poorly countries have managed the pandemic in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19.

The Institute’s Herve Lemahieu said the interactive website wrote that smaller countries had typically tackled COVID-19 more effectively than bigger countries.

“Countries with populations fewer than 10 million people proved more agile, on average, than the majority of their larger counterparts in handling the health emergency,” he told the media.

Mr Lemahieu said wealthier countries had typically managed the outbreak more effectively than poorer countries, but then lost their lead by the end of 2020 as infections again surged in places like Europe and North America.

“One of the remarkable findings of this study is that there has been more or less a level playing field between developing and rich countries, because measures needed to stem the virus have been quite low tech,” he said.

But Mr Lemahieu predicted that poorer countries would soon lose ground as they struggled to obtain COVID-19 vaccines for their citizens.



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