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Asia Minute: Ranking the Response to COVID-19

AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

An international think tank has released a new report ranking the response to the coronavirus pandemic by countries around the world. The list includes 98 locations. And while the United States comes in near the bottom of the list, half of the top ten are in the Asia Pacific.

The Lowy Institute of Australia is the country’s largest think tank — focused on international policy.

It used publicly available data to rank countries and regions in their response to the coronavirus pandemic — the higher the rank, the better the response.

The top four locations are in the Asia Pacific, starting with New Zealand, followed by Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand.

Australia comes in at number 8.

Other regional countries within the top twenty include Singapore at 13, Malaysia at 16, and South Korea at twenty.

Japan is 45; the Philippines 79.

The United States comes in at 94 — wedged between Colombia and Iran — four slots ahead of last-place Brazil.

China was not included on the list because relevant public information was not available.

The project used a scoring system tracking confirmed cases and deaths — both the overall number and the rate per million people, as well as tests per thousand people and confirmed cases as a proportion of tests.

As for regional breakdowns, Europe started from the lowest point and saw the greatest improvement until falling in a second wave near the end of last year.

On average, countries in the Asia Pacific were most successful in dealing with the spread of the virus, while the Americas is the worst-affected region in the world.

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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