In spite of the relatively low infection rate on the continent, the three countries placing last in the latest of the studies on Coronavirus (mis)management study are all African countries. Is this then a case of the facts of the African situation or a case of power over interpretation of facts?
Mali, Rwanda and South Africa are placing last in a listing of 200 countries, on top of which are Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Singapore, Japan, Austria, China, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea in that order. The question is why?
The puzzle is being explained in the nature of the indicators chosen by Deep Knowledge Group, the non-profit consortium of companies which conducted the study. The indicators are said not to be outcome indicators and disadvantaged Africa even if African countries have better outcomes in terms of infection and mortality. The indicators are effectiveness of quarantine; governance; monitoring and detection of cases; health care system; regional resilience; and level of preparation for emergencies.
Switzerland which came first in the study did so on account of its control of the Coronavirus epidemic and the resilient status of its economy. Coming first makes it the safest on the planet in terms of managing the pandemic. The result is a big jump for Switzerland two months ago when the study placed it 11th with Israel being number 1 then, followed by Germany and South Korea.
The current ranking leaves the United States on the 58th position, China on the 7th, France 60th and Sweden 65th. Forbes which published the study is stressing resilient economies as a defining ranking criterion.