THE United States ranked 18th and the Philippines 46th among 53 countries when it came to handling the novel coronavirus pandemic most effectively, according to a Bloomberg study released this week.
In the report entitled ‘The Best and Worst Places to Be in the Coronavirus Era,’ published on Tuesday, Nov. 24, Bloomberg surveyed 53 economies of over $200 billion on several key metrics such as increase in cases to the overall mortality rate, testing capabilities, lockdown impact, community mobility, GDP growth forecast, and agreements on vaccine supply.
The news organization then gave the economies a score from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best.
The United States managed to nab a spot in the top 20, despite having the highest number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities globally. It ranked 18th with a score of 66.5. It also has a total of 776 deaths per million and a test positive rate of 14%.
“The lack of an effective response to the virus by the U.S. has been one of the most stunning developments of the pandemic,” Bloomberg said.
“The superpower leads the world in cases and deaths, and its reaction to the crisis has lagged from the start, from a shortage of medical equipment and PPE supplies, to the absence of coordination on testing and tracing efforts and the politicization of mask-wearing,” it added.
However, the U.S.’ singular focus on treatments and vaccines boosted the country in the rankings.
“The swelling caseload and rising deaths mean it would be 11 rungs lower otherwise,” Bloomberg explained.
The Philippines received a resilience score of 48.9, with 74 deaths per million and a test positive rate of 5.8%. The country fared the worst among the Asian countries measured in the list which includes Malaysia (29th), Indonesia (19th), Thailand (15th), Hong Kong (12th), and Singapore (11th).
Japan ranked the highest in Asia, placing second with a resilience score of 85. It was followed by Taiwan (3rd), South Korea (4th), China (8th), and Vietnam (10th).
New Zealand emerged at the top of the list due to its “decisive, swift action.” It received a score of 85.4, with a total of 5 deaths per million and test positive rate of 0%.
Mexico, on the other hand, placed at the bottom of the list with a score of 37.6.
“Many in the top 10 pioneered and modeled what have emerged as the most effective strategies for fighting COVID-19,” Bloomberg noted.
“Border control has been a key element, starting with China’s original cordon sanitaire around Hubei province, which largely shielded the rest of the country from infection,” it added.
Bloomberg also pointed out that effective testing and tracing was a hallmark of almost all the top 10, citing South Korea’s approach.
“The result is an overall score that’s a snapshot of how the pandemic is playing out in these 53 places right now. By ranking their access to a coronavirus vaccine, we also provide a window into how these economies’ fortunes may shift in the future,” it said.
However, Bloomberg stressed that its ranking is not a “final verdict.”
“The Ranking will change as countries switch up their strategies, the weather shifts and the race intensifies for a viable inoculation,” Bloomberg said.
“Still, the gap that has opened up between those economies at the top and those at the bottom is likely to endure, with potentially lasting consequences in the post-COVID world,” it added.