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The best places to be as the world battles COVID-19: Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong in top 10

The best places to be as the world battles COVID-19: Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong in top 10

Other notable economies on the ranking include South Korea as the world's sixth safest place to be during the pandemic era, Japan in seventh spot, and Vietnam in 11th place.

Latin America and parts of Europe seem to have fallen behind in COVID-19 recovery, as Singapore has emerged as the world's best place to be as COVID variants outrace vaccinations. The city-state has taken the top spot for the first time - dethroning New Zealand to second place, with Australia standing steady in third spot.

Singapore's performance in the pandemic era has been put down to "a combination of nailing the virus and rolling out vaccines at one of the fastest rates in Asia", per Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking this month. "The tiny city state has gotten locally-transmitted cases down to near zero thanks to border curbs and a strict quarantine programme, allowing citizens to largely go about their everyday lives, even attending concerts and going on cruises.

"At the same time, Singapore has already administered vaccines equivalent to cover a fifth of its population, an aspect of pandemic control that other virus eliminators like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan are lagging on."

 The top 20 rankings are shared in the image above, while the top ranking is listed out below.

COVID Resilience Ranking: Top 10 places to be in the pandemic era

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Australia
  4. Israel
  5. Taiwan
  6. South Korea
  7. Japan
  8. UAE
  9. Finland
  10. Hong Kong

Other notable economies on the ranking include:

  • 11th - Vietnam
  • 12th - China
  • 13th - Thailand
  • 20th - Malaysia
  • 30th - India
  • 34th - Indonesia
  • 35th - Pakistan
  • 41st - Bangladesh
  • 45th - The Philippines

The resilience score is an average of 10 indicators equally weighted, namely: 

  1. One-month cases per 100,000
  2. One-month fatality rate
  3. Total deaths per 1mn
  4. Positive test rate
  5. People covered by vaccines
  6. Lockdown severity
  7. Community mobility
  8. 2021 GDP growth forecast
  9. Universal healthcare coverage
  10. Human development index

Below is a brief analysis on the reasons for the ranking for certain economies:

  • Places like France and Chile, where people have good access to shots, fell in the ranking as outbreaks swelled—fuelled by mutations of the virus that increasingly have their source in the developing world, where vaccines are in short supply and mitigation efforts are failing. 
  • The US climbs four rungs this month to 17th, as its fast vaccination programme sees a reduction in deaths, though cases ticked up amid a loosening of precautions. 
  • The UK — up seven places to No. 18 as its lockdown is lifted — is pairing rapid inoculation with tighter border controls to keep out new variants, the most recent barring travelers from India, given its new “double mutation” strain.
  • Poland has administered vaccinations enough for 13% of its population, greater penetration than two-thirds of the world. Yet the variant first identified in the UK took over, accounting for 90% of new infections and causing a record spike in cases and fatalities.
  • The top three — Singapore, New Zealand and Australia — are able to provide a pre-pandemic quality of life for their populations, with the exception of international travel, which is basically shut down to prevent the virus from slipping back in.
  • South Africa rises 16 places with its case-fatality rate almost halved to 4.8% from March. But, it lags emerging market peers in vaccination and is also where another more transmissible variant was first identified.
  • Portugal jumps 13 spots as the nation gradually eases social-distancing measures, with secondary schools and more stores allowed to reopen after it faced one of the world’s worst outbreaks in January.
  • Spain climbs 10 rungs after its fatality rate fell to 1.4% from 8.3% in March. But cases are edging up again.
  • China drops five spots out of the top 10. The country where the coronavirus was first identified found a cluster of cases in a border city neighboring Myanmar. Officials locked down the area and tested its entire population three times over.
  • Turkey plunges 19 spots after cases and deaths soared to record highs over the past month, triggering a partial lockdown.
  • Bangladesh and the Philippines sink 13 and 10 positions respectively after a resurgence of virus infections sent their positive testing rates up. In the Philippines, an extended lockdown of the capital has dimmed the economic outlook.

Image / Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking

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