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Covid-19: Ireland ranked as third best place to be in during pandemic


A Dublin mural of a HSE frontline worker battling the spread of Covid-19. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

A Dublin mural of a HSE frontline worker battling the spread of Covid-19. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

A Dublin mural of a HSE frontline worker battling the spread of Covid-19. Photo: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

Covid-19 cases may be on the rise here, but that hasn’t stopped Ireland being named as one of the top places to be in during the pandemic.

The Bloomberg Covid Resilience rankings have been tracking the best and worst countries to be in in a “world divided over Covid”.

In the latest and final instalment of the rankings, South Korea landed the top spot as the best place to be in during the pandemic, followed by the United Arab Emirates in second and Ireland in third.

The top five was rounded out with Norway in fourth and Saudi Arabia in fifth.

Bloomberg began compiling the rankings in November 2020 and used “a range of data points to capture a monthly snapshot of how the world’s biggest economies were handling this once-in-a-generation health crisis”.

Among the data points are the level of vaccination among the population, the severity of lockdowns and flight capacity.

It said the top five countries are those that are “most effectively putting the pandemic in the rear view mirror, with the fewest scars”.

"They’ve been able to reopen their borders and economies without a substantial spike in deaths.”

It said the top countries have accepted that Covid-19 is here to stay, have aggressively vaccinated the most vulnerable and are trying to resume economic and social activity “like it’s 2019”.

Bloomberg said the top performing countries were able to execute this approach as most are wealthy, with the ability to pay for vaccines, and have the logistics to administer these vaccines to their population.

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"Then there is the intangible but powerful factor of societal trust and cohesion,” it said, pointing out that the populations of these countries complied with guidance on social distancing and mask-wearing more readily and came forward for vaccination in greater numbers.

“Clearly, when the population trusts the public health messaging, you’re going to see more resilience,” said Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

“If you have places where science is trusted, where this isn’t seen as a political issue but a public health issue, then you’re going to have much better outcomes.”

Meanwhile, the countries at the bottom of the Covid Resilience Ranking are largely unchanged since last month.

Bottom of the list and the worst place to be in during the pandemic was Russia in 53rd spot. Just ahead was Taiwan in 52nd, mainland China in 51st, Pakistan in 50th and Hong Kong in 49th.

Hong Kong, Taiwan and China all kept numbers of cases and deaths low at the beginning of the pandemic but these began to grow as the virus mutated into ever-more infectious strains.

Taiwan and Hong Kong have seen death rates rise as Omicron developed, while China introduced stricter restrictions to drive cases back to zero but in turn has seen a massive downfall in its economic growth.

The World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in February that the “acute” phase of the pandemic could end this year if about 70pc of the world is vaccinated by mid-2022.

Currently, about 67pc of the world’s population has received one dose and 61pc are fully inoculated, according to Our World in Data.

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