Here’s the latest news from the global pandemic.
Singapore, the Place to Be
The Covid-19 news from April is a mixed bag. While the world topped one billion doses of vaccines administered in an unprecedented global effort, virus variants are challenging the fight and driving overall infection levels to fresh records.
Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking crunches the numbers every month for a snapshot of the best and worst places to be in the coronavirus era, and this month’s biggest movers reflect that uneven progress.
After gradually climbing up the ranks for five months as it got an outbreak among its migrant worker community under control, Singapore has now claimed the pole position, dethroning New Zealand for the first time since the Ranking’s debut last November.
The city-state has brought down locally transmitted cases to near zero thanks to border curbs and a strict quarantine program, allowing citizens to largely go about their everyday lives, even attending concerts and going on cruises.
While this has been similarly achieved in New Zealand and other top performers like Taiwan sand Australia, where Singapore has now pulled ahead is in vaccination: it has administered shots equivalent to cover a fifth of its population. In those other places, successful containment has had the effect of slowing the vaccine race with a lack of urgency.
But the Ranking—covering 10 moving indicators including cases, fatalities, vaccines, people’s freedom of movement and economic prospects—is also revealing how vaccination alone isn’t ending the pandemic.
Places like France and Chile, where people have good access to shots, fell down the ladder as outbreaks swelled, fueled by mutations of the virus.
Nowhere has this played out more worryingly than in Poland and Brazil, which dropped to the last two spots among the 53 economies ranked. Mexico, which has been last for five months running, inched up to 48th, as its virus testing improved.
All eyes are now on India as its resurgent outbreak that’s adding over 300,000 cases daily creates new strains and mutations—some which may prove more impervious to existing vaccines. The Asian giant sank 10 places to 30th in April’s Ranking and will likely plunge further next month.—Jinshan Hong
Track the vaccines
Enough doses have now been administered to fully vaccinate about 7% of the global population—but the distribution has been lopsided. Countries with the highest incomes are getting vaccinated 25 times faster than those with the lowest. We’ve updated our vaccine tracker to allow you to explore vaccine rates vs Covid-19 cases in a number of countries. See the latest here.
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