Sri Lanka has ranked 10th among the countries that handled the COVID-19 pandemic more effectively, according to independent Australian think tank Lowy Institute.

The COVID Performance Index compiled by the Lowy Institute has ranked 98 countries with publicly available and comparable data on the virus, based on how they managed the pandemic to date following their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19.

New interactive by the Sydney-based think tank had sorted the countries into broad categories – by regions, political systems, population sized and economic development – to determine if significant variations exist between different types of states in the handling of the pandemic.

As per the index, New Zealand has handled the pandemic more effectively than other countries. It was followed by Vietnam, Taiwan and Thailand, respectively.

The United States meanwhile languishes near the bottom of the table, at number 94 while India sits at 86.

China has not been included in the ranking due to a lack of publicly available data on testing.

COVID Performance Index’s top 10 countries with the best response to the pandemic are:
01. New Zealand
02. Vietnam
03. Taiwan
04. Thailand
05. Cyprus
06. Rwanda
07. Iceland
08. Australia
09. Latvia
10. Sri Lanka

The Lowy Institute noted, “No single type of country emerged the unanimous winner in the period examined. Variations between individual countries were far more substantial than those between broad categories of countries. Nor did a single theory convincingly explain the differences observed in national outcomes, despite some health measures proving far more effective than others.”

However, smaller countries have proved more agile than the majority of their larger counterparts in handling the health emergency for most of 2020, it said further.

According to the Lowy Institute, levels of economic development or differences in political systems between countries had less of an impact on outcomes than often assumed or publicized.

Lowy Institute’s Herve Lemahieu said the data also disproved the theory that authoritarian regimes had managed the crisis more effectively than democracies.

“Authoritarian regimes, on average, started off better — they were able to mobilise resources faster, and lockdowns came faster. But to sustain that over time was more difficult for them,” Mr Lemahieu said.

The researchers have tracked the confirmed cases, confirmed deaths, confirmed cases per million, confirmed deaths per million, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests and tests per thousand people for this interactive.

-with inputs from agencies

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