NZ no longer best place to be during Covid-19 because of 'lagging' vaccine rollout — analysis

New Zealand has lost its title as the best place to be during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to Bloomberg. 

A sign encourages masks and social distancing in Newmarket, Auckland. Source: Getty

Singapore has topped the business analytics and news company's latest Covid Resilience Ranking, dethroning New Zealand after a five-month run. 

The company said while Kiwis enjoy great freedoms and there are no Covid-19 cases in the community, its comparatively slow vaccine rollout saw Singapore beat it by 0.1 points. 

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Singapore has vaccinated 19.4 per cent of its population against Covid-19, while New Zealand’s has vaccinated 1.9 per cent, Bloomberg reported.

“Singapore has already administered vaccines equivalent to cover a fifth of its population, an aspect of pandemic control that other virus eliminators like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan are lagging on.”

Yesterday, the Ministry of Health told 1 NEWS that as of last week, 42,700 people had received the second dose of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine. Five per cent of Kiwis, though, received their second jab outside the period recommended by the Ministry of Health.   

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But Bloomberg noted vaccination alone wouldn’t be enough to end the pandemic. 

“Places like France and Chile, where people have good access to shots, fell in the ranking as outbreaks swelled — fuelled by mutations of the virus that increasingly have their source in the developing world, where vaccines are in short supply and mitigation efforts are failing. 

“While more than one billion doses have now been administered globally, not enough are going to poorer nations like India, which are driving global infection levels to new records.”

Australia remains in third place, Israel in fourth, and Taiwan in fifth. 

“The top three — Singapore, New Zealand and Australia — are able to provide a pre-pandemic quality of life for their populations, with the exception of international travel, which is basically shut down to prevent the virus from slipping back in.”

India, currently grappling with record Covid-19 case numbers, is at 30. 

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Al Jazeera correspondent Elizabeth Puranam told Breakfast that many states are imposing regional lockdowns to avoid a “complete collapse” of their health system. Source: Breakfast

Today, India reported more than 2800 deaths from Covid-19 — that’s about 120 succumbing to the disease every hour. Experts are warning the figures are probably an undercount. 

Bloomberg uses indicators like fatality rates, test result rates, the severity of a country’s lockdown, GDP forecasts, and access to vaccines to rank countries. 

The full methodology behind Bloomberg’s ranking is on the company's website.