Covid:19 New Zealand falls 37 spots on global ranking of best places to be amid the pandemic –

Posted: October 5, 2021 at 4:32 am

New Zealand has fallen from number one to 38 on a global ranking of the best places to be in a world grappling with the extra-infectious Delta strain of Covid-19.

New Zealand claimed the top spot on Bloombergs first Covid Resilience Ranking in November 2020 but has fallen behind nations in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Africa and other parts of Asia-Pacific as it battles to contain the Auckland outbreak, strives to boost vaccine uptake, and retains strict border controls.


NZ has experienced a dramatic drop on the Covid Resilience Ranking, while Ireland has done the opposite.

No. 1 at the rankings inception last November, New Zealand fell nine spots from August to No. 38, the media and financial giant said. A Delta incursion after months virus-free has left the country in varying degrees of lockdown, still seeking to stamp out infections as it strives to boost vaccination levels.

Forty-two days into Aucklands lockdown, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced a spike in cases in New Zealands biggest city, saying these were expected. Of the 45 new community cases, 12 are unlinked to existing cases.

READ MORE:* Covid-19: 45 new cases in Delta community outbreak, highest number in three weeks* Ireland and Covid-19: More than 1000 cases every day but normality looms * Covid-19 NZ: How viable is New Zealands coronavirus elimination plan in the time of Delta?

Ireland, which has a similar sized population to New Zealand, has taken the opposite trajectory, climbing from about 40 in early January when it had the worst rate of infection in the world to number one on the list.

As Stuffs explainer editor Keith Lynch wrote in a recent article on Irelands handling of the virus, the country has been hard hit by the pandemic, recording more than 370,000 cases and more than 5000 deaths.

David White/Stuff

New Zealands handling of the Auckland outbreak has contributed to its fall in the ranking.

With some 90 per cent of its population aged 18 and over now vaccinated, however, it has become what the Financial Times described in August as a vaccine poster child. Despite the arrival of the Delta variant, Ireland has continued to ease restrictions in an effort to return to relative normality but is taking a cautious approach to reopening to the rest of the world.

Bloomberg attributed Irelands startling turnaround in part to a Europe-wide strategy involving limiting quarantine-free to people who were fully vaccinated or who had proved they have recovered from the virus. It also commended the country for boosting vaccination levels by bestowing more domestic freedoms on the inoculated while allowing social activity to resume safely.


NZ has experienced a dramatic drop in Bloomberg's Covid Resilience Ranking.

Bloombergs Covid Resilience Ranking is designed to provide a monthly snapshot of which of the worlds 53 biggest economies are handling the virus best, with the least social and economic upheaval. Factors taken into consideration include virus containment, healthcare quality, vaccination coverage, overall mortality, GDP (gross domestic product) growth forecast, and progress towards easing border restrictions and restarting travel.

New Zealands resilience score of 59.6 per cent reflected its relatively low vaccination rate (44 per cent of the eligible population were fully vaccinated as of September 28), lockdown severity and closed borders, among other factors. New Zealand and Malaysia were judged to have the strictest lockdowns of all 53 economies on the list.

The top five economies on the ranking were all in Europe, with Spain, the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark trailing Ireland, while the United Arab Emirates, where more than 92 per cent of the population is vaccinated, came in at number six. France, Switzerland, Canada and Norway, which recently scrapped most remaining Covid-related restrictions, rounded out the top 10.

New Zealand, now in the bottom half of the ranking, was one of several Asia-Pacific nations to drop down, with Bloomberg saying the region is faltering in the era of vaccination.

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Spain came in at number two on the resilience ranking, trailing Ireland and just ahead of the Netherlands, Finland and Denmark.

Not only are their strict measures less effective in the face of Delta, former top rankers in the region are also grappling with how to reopen after such a long period of isolationist border curbs.

Singapore, which is moving towards a vaccine-led reopening, fell 11 places since the last ranking as a surge in cases saw some restrictions reimposed, while Hong Kong dropped two spots. Australia fell three places to number 34. Mainland China, by contrast, where more than 78 per cent of people are vaccinated, moved up two spots to number 23.

The United States, where Bloomberg said unfettered normalisation regardless of vaccine status drove a surge in cases and deaths, fell three spots to 28, while Britain climbed six places to 16.

The five bottom five spots on the list went to Southeast Asian economies: the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia.

They were among multiple developing nations sitting in the lower half of the ranking, which Bloomberg said partly reflected the vaccine inequality World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has described as a shame on all humanity.

Originally posted here:

Covid:19 New Zealand falls 37 spots on global ranking of best places to be amid the pandemic -

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