Covid Resilience Ranking: The Best and Worst Place in the Coronavirus Era

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Covid Resilience Ranking: The Best and Worst Place in the Coronavirus Era” – below is their description.

    Nearly a year since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic, the U.S. and parts of Europe are emerging from the darkest chapters yet of their outbreaks and climbing up Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking, a measure of the best places to be in the coronavirus era.

    While headlines have been dominated by the rush to vaccinate, these countries’ gains have largely stemmed from containment measures like mask-wearing and staying home. The U.S., led by the new administration of President Joe Biden, is also poised for a faster-than-expected economic rebound. Its rank leapt eight spots in February to 27th.

    Globally, the pandemic has lost momentum with total infections growing at the slowest pace since October. But major western economies are gaining ground faster than developing nations, fueling a rich-poor disparity in the Ranking that’s likely to persist in 2021 given the domination of vaccine supply by wealthy governments.

    Each month, Bloomberg crunches the numbers to capture a snapshot of where the pandemic is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic disruption.

    In February, New Zealand—with its closed borders, four vaccine deals and near-elimination of the virus locally—holds onto pole position for the fourth month running.

    Snuffing out or containing Covid early continues to pay off in quality of life for places like New Zealand, Taiwan and Australia, which have been in the Ranking’s top 10 since its first edition in November. A major gap remains between these top performers and the rest of the world, despite their vaccination drives trailing the U.S., U.K. and Europe.

    Wealthy economies previously in the bottom 10, like France, Belgium and Italy, have climbed since November, pushing down countries like South Africa and Indonesia. The Ranking’s bottom third is now populated by developing economies in Latin America and Africa.

    India, which to the puzzlement of scientists seems to have evaded the worst of Covid-19 despite its huge outbreak, moved up two spots to 16th as fatalities continued to fall.

    The domination of vaccine supply by richer countries—which the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called a “catastrophic moral failure”—will likely prevent poorer nations from moving up the ranks in the coming months. Mexico remains at No. 53, the last of the ranked economies.

    Israel—the global leader in inoculations—is providing real-world proof that the experimental mRNA vaccines work not just to prevent deaths but to also slow transmission. But its rank in February inched up only one place to 14th with the rapid vaccine rollout yet to fully quell a wave of the highly infectious U.K. variant across the country, reflecting the danger that mutations continue to pose.

    The Ranking scores economies of more than $200 billion on 11 core metrics: from growth in virus cases and the overall mortality rate to testing capabilities and vaccines. The capacity of the local health-care system, the impact of virus-related restrictions like lockdowns on the economy, and freedom of movement are also taken into account.

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