Belgium in 72nd place for handling of Covid-19, New Zealand top
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Belgium in 72nd place for handling of Covid-19, New Zealand top

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Belgium scored in 72nd place in a world ranking of 98 countries for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a league table drawn up by Lowy Institute in Australia.

Unsurprisingly, the New Zealand government of prime minister Jacinda Ardern took top spot with a score of 94.4 from a possible 100.

New Zealand was given credit for getting the pandemic under control, thanks to a closure of its borders, lockdown measures and a ‘swift and vigorous’ contact tracing.

The criteria used to determine a country’s performance were:

  • Reported cases and deaths, both aggregate and per capita;
  • Tests per capita, and lower per capita positives;
  • Rolling averages of cases, cases per million, deaths, deaths per million, positivity rate for tests, test per capita.

Collectively, these indicators point to how well or poorly countries have managed the pandemic,” Lowy said.

An average of the rankings across the six indicators was normalised for each country to produce a score between 0 (worst performing) and 100 (best performing) on any given day in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19.”

The top five places are taken by New Zealand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand and Cyprus.

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Cyprus is the highest-ranking member state of the EU. Other member states in the top 20 are Latvia (9), Estonia (11), Malta (14) and Finland (17).

In general, countries with smaller populations, cohesive societies and capable institutions are better placed to face a global crisis such as a pandemic,” the report said.

Around Belgium’s 72nd place we find Germany (55), Italy (59), Portugal (63), Poland (65) and the UK (66).

Bottom of the list comes Brazil, behind Mexico, Colombia, Iran and the United States in 94th place with a score of only 17.3 (Brazil scored 4.3). China was not included in the rankings, Lowy said, because of a lack of publicly available data on testing.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times