What decisions need to be made to outlast a global pandemic?

Last week BBC Travel identified the healthiest countries in the world based on each country’s ability to address the coronavirus pandemic. The reviewers started with 2019 The Legatum Prosperity Index which ranked 167 nations based on twelve factors. The healthiest countries to live in during a global pandemic are also the more prosperous countries in the world.

The Legatum Prosperity Index factors are Safety & Security, Personal Freedom, Governance, Social Capital, Investment Environment, Enterprise Conditions, Market Access & Infrastructure, Economic Quality, Living Conditions, Health, Education, and Natural Environment.

The top ten Legatum Index countries for overall prosperity and living are Singapore, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, Norway, Hong Kong, Iceland, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Austria. This latest health assessment looked directly at the country’s ability to contain coronavirus and provide positive health outcomes.

The Number One country award goes to Japan. Its medical system has managed the spread of the virus and has not enforced a lockdown. Testing for COVID-19 is limited, but CT scans are used to diagnose pneumonia. Japanese culture is very health conscious. Wearing of masks is common to prevent the spread of airborne diseases. Sixty percent of the Japanese have an annual health check-up.

The Number Two country award goes to South Korea. Many lessons were learned from the MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) outbreak in 2015. Early testing and patient management kept the spread in check. South Korea’s healthcare system provides coverage to every citizen. The supply of masks was managed early. Thermal scanners are installed in many buildings.

The Number Three country award goes to Israel which was one of the fastest to respond to coronavirus. Travel restrictions and home isolation were addressed early. Their Central Virology Laboratory developed a molecular diagnostic test to detect coronavirus from respiratory samples. The cost of medical care is not a factor for citizens. Medical staffs were trained and equipment available before coronavirus cases became overloaded.

Germany comes in as the Number Four country. Early and widespread testing allowed the sick and asymptomatic patients to be separated from the healthy population. Higher risk people are protected. Germany’s healthcare system is different than the United Kingdom or France in resources is decentralized with the responsibility to the local governments.

Australia was Number Five on the healthiest countries list. Like other countries, all non-essential surgeries were postponed early enough to have enough hospital infrastructure available for COVID-19 patients. The government financially backed the private hospitals which doubled the overall capacity to address coronavirus.

How did the top five healthiest countries compare to the original 2019 Prosperity Index? Japan was 19th overall. South Korea came in at 29. Israel was listed at 31. Germany is listed at number 8. Australia is number 17, just ahead of the United States at 18.

Based on each Index factor, Norway was number 1 in Personal Freedom, Governance, and Social Capital. Switzerland was number 1in Safety & Security. Sweden was number 1 in Natural Environment. Hong Kong was number 1 in Enterprise Conditions. Singapore claimed number 1 in the other five factors.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin – https://RedOLaughlin.com

2 Responses

    1. Pick any two – cheap, fast, or easy! Sometimes you can’t have everything you want or need. I think the Mick Jagger did a song along those lines; and, Henepola Gunaratana also had a similar statement.

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