New Zealand ranked second-safest country in world for COVID-19 - report

In June New Zealand was ranked 9th, but is now 2nd behind Germany.
In June New Zealand was ranked 9th, but is now 2nd behind Germany. Photo credit: Getty

New Zealand is now the second-safest country in the world for COVID-19, according to a new report.

The Deep Knowledge Group released their latest rankings of over 250 countries this week.

They said the safest country in the world is currently Germany followed by New Zealand (2nd), South Korea (3rd), Switzerland (4th) and Japan (5th). Australia came in 6th place and China at 7th.

The most dangerous countries are Afghanistan, Somaliland, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Mali.

New Zealand has shot up the rankings since June, when the country was ranked 9th, as the data and methodology has been updated.

The latest ranking is based on multiple medical, economic, and political factors which create an overall score. 

"Deep Knowledge Group's new COVID-19 special analytical case study is designed to classify, analyze and rank the economic, social and health stability achieved by each of the 250 countries and regions included in its analysis, as well as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats or risks that they present in the battle against the global health and economic crisis triggered by COVID-19," the group said.

New Zealand ranked particularly well in the 'quarantine efficiency' category, higher than any other nation. We also did better than first-ranked Germany in 'monitoring and detection', 'country vulnerability' and 'emergency preparedness'.

The United States currently sits at 55th, because it is "infused with a libertarian ethos", and citizens aren't responding well to restrictions.

"The culture of North America in general, and the United States especially, is infused with a libertarian ethos and the population does not respond favourably to authoritarian measures such as lockdowns and mandatory mask-wearing, however temporary and efficacious they are acknowledged to be." 

The report also compared the US's early response to neighbour Canada's.

"These two neighbouring countries initially had similar patterns of irregular spikes but with Canada lagging several days behind the US. The main divergence began in March, though not clearly visible at that time. With their numbers having remained similarly low and insignificant until March, it only took a few days for daily growth in the United States to approach 50 percent, so that in less than a week the total the number of cases was five times greater than in Canada, and five days after that it was 10 times greater."

The South American country of Uruguay (48th) is also given a special mention for its response.

"It is a high degree of social responsibility of its citizens and authorities, that impedes the spread of pandemic," the report says.

"A national health emergency, with associated measures, was declared after the first four deaths, which lead to a much lower number of total incidents in absolute measures and per 1 million of population, as well as to a more or less low level of mortality, despite the fact that 15 percent of people in Uruguay are 65 years of age and above."

The 50 safest countries, according to the report:

  1. Germany
  2. New Zealand
  3. South Korea
  4. Switzerland
  5. Japan
  6. Australia
  7. China
  8. Austria
  9. United Arab Emirates
  10. Singapore
  11. Israel
  12. Canada
  13. Saudi Arabia
  14. Iceland
  15. Taiwan
  16. Norway
  17. Liechtenstein
  18. Hong Kong
  19. Finland
  20. Kuwait
  21. Denmark
  22. Monaco
  23. Luxembourg
  24. Bahrain
  25. Hungary
  26. Netherlands
  27. Qatar
  28. Cyprus
  29. Oman
  30. Andorra
  31. United Kingdom
  32. Vietnam
  33. Estonia
  34. Latvia
  35. Ireland
  36. Turkey
  37. Poland
  38. San Marino
  39. Belgium
  40. Georgia
  41. Greece
  42. Lithuania
  43. Italy
  44. Malta
  45. Russia
  46. Malaysia
  47. Slovenia
  48. Uruguay
  49. Sweden
  50. Brunei

Read the full list here.