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June 8, 2020

New Report Ranks Countries by COVID-19 Safety

In the deluge of COVID-19 data – the graphs, the dashboards, the daily numbers, the policies – it can be difficult to determine where, overall, your area stands in terms of its safety during the pandemic. Now, Deep Knowledge Group (a consortium of commercial and non-profit technology organizations) has compiled a data-driven report ranking countries and regions on their overall COVID-19 safety based on 130 qualitative and quantitative parameters.

Those 130 parameters are grouped into 30 “indicators” and six broad categories: 

  1. Quarantine efficiency, including parameters such as travel restrictions, criminal penalties for violating quarantine and economic support for quarantined citizens.
  2. Monitoring and detection, including parameters such as testing efficiency, government surveillance, and AI for diagnostics and prognostics.
  3. Regional resiliency, including parameters such as infection spread risk, demography, chronic diseases, and geopolitical vulnerability.
  4. Government efficiency of risk management, including parameters such as pandemic readiness, rapid emergency mobilization, and legislative efficiency. 
  5. Healthcare readiness, including parameters such as COVID-19 equipment availability, level of healthcare progressiveness, and quantity and quality of medical staff.
  6. Emergency preparedness, including parameters such as societal emergency resilience and previous national emergency experience.

In total, the researchers assessed nearly 12,000 data points across 200 regions, aiming to “enable responsible governments to learn from the strengths and weaknesses of their neighbors” to take better action on COVID-19. This is the second iteration of Deep Knowledge Group’s COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment, and the new report represents a marked change in scope compared to its predecessor.

“In our previous safety and risk assessment, regions which had very high levels of emergency preparedness and a capacity to efficiently manage national crises achieved the highest score because they had the greatest likelihood of managing the early stages of the pandemic,” DKG wrote. “However, now that it has become clear who did and did not succeed to face that first wave optimally, and as regions begin to prepare for relaxing lockdown conditions and economic freezing mandates, it is the factors which impact their capacity to withstand the future of COVID-19, and to prevent economic fallout without sacrificing public health and safety and the risk of second waves of infection, that take on the greatest levels of importance moving forward.”

The full tier ranking of 200 countries from the COVID-19 Safety Assessment.

The top-scoring countries were:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Germany
  3. Israel
  4. Singapore
  5. Japan
  6. Austria
  7. China
  8. Australia
  9. New Zealand
  10. South Korea

Meanwhile, the bottom-scoring countries were mostly concentrated in Africa and the Middle East. The United States, which remains the COVID-19 epicenter of the world with more than triple the cases of the runner-up (Brazil), placed 58th out of 200.

“Both Switzerland and Germany were very close to major epicenters of initial COVID-19 spread in Europe, and experienced quite significant volumes of infection spread and mortality early within the overall pandemic timeline,” DKG wrote. “However, as the rates of mortality and new cases continue to decline in these territories, and as they begin to relax lockdown measures and reinitiate economic activity, it is clear that they survived and surpassed a very critical stress-test, succeeding to apply quick and efficient quarantine efforts, monitoring and detection, economic freezing and effective treatment, recovery and release of COVID-19 patients to prevent an overburdening of their healthcare systems. And, indeed, their recent activities in relaxing lockdowns and reinitiating economic and social activity is tangible evidence of this success.”

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