A PERFORMANCE index ranking countries’ response to the coronavirus pandemic has placed the United Kingdom 66th in the world – behind Italy and Sweden.
The ranking comes just days after Covid-19-related deaths in the UK just passed the grim 100,000 milestone.
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The index excludes China, where the first cases of the virus were recorded, due to a lack of publicly available data.
Falling behind the UK was India, ranked 86th with more than 11 million cases, and the United States, which was ranked 94, with over 25 million recorded confirmed cases.
New Zealand unsurprisingly took the number one spot. Vietnam and Taiwan were close behind in second and third place, Reuters reported.
Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia and Sri Lanka also had spots in the top 10, with fewer reported cases and deaths both in aggregate and per capita terms.
A general theme in the index was that Asia-Pacific had proved more successful in containing the virus, while the United States and Europe had been “quickly overwhelmed” by the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
Publication Sydney-based Lowy Institute’s report on Thursday comes as world coronavirus cases surpass 100 million.
The global death toll now exceeds 2 million.
Results were gauged from an assessment of 98 countries, in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of Covid-19. It used data available to Jan 9, 2021, the Institute said.
Fourteen-day rolling averages of new daily figures were calculated for confirmed cases, as well as confirmed cases per million people, confirmed deaths, confirmed deaths per million people, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests, and tests per thousand people.
POLITICAL SYSTEM HAS SMALLER IMPACT THAN ASSUMED
In its analysis, the Lowy Intitute said levels of economic development or differences in political systems between countries had a smaller impact on outcomes than what was “often assumed or publicised”.
“In general, countries with smaller populations, cohesive societies, and capable institutions have a comparative advantage in dealing with a global crisis such as a pandemic.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson marked the 100,000 milestone with a national address on Tuesday, when he offered his “deepest condolences” to everyone who had lost a loved one to the virus.
"It's hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic – the years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended, and for so many relatives, the missed chance even to say goodbye.
An infection survey carried out by the Imperial College London today suggested cases were now falling, driven by a reduced spread in London and the South.
Scientists said the findings were "really good news" but warned levels must drop further and faster to help take pressure off the NHS.
More than 167,000 people were swabbed across England between 6 and 22 January as part of the React study.
It shows that nationally R – the number of people each Covid cases goes on to infect – is 0.98.
And of the nine regions in England, five were seeing a fall in infections.
But cases still remain the highest recorded by the survey, with one in 64 people now carrying the virus across England.
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