Best and Worst Prepared

The Countries Best And Worst Prepared For An Epidemic

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention has stated that another case of the coronavirus has been detected in the United States, pushing the total number of confirmed cases over 60 with 22 outside of the evacuees (and Washington State has announced the first US death from Covid-19) According to tracking by Johns Hopkins University, over 85,000 people have been infected, the vast majority of them in China. The coronavirus has also slowly spread to many other countries with cases reported across the globe.

Even though Chinese authorities have said that they have observed evidence of person-to-person transmission, health officials in Orange and LA counties in the United States have said that the precautions in place should stop any spread of the coronavirus.
As Statista’s Niall McCarthy notes, that raises the question: which countries are the most and least prepared to contain large outbreaks of disease?

In October of last year, the Global Health Security Index was released and it assessed levels of global health security across 195 countries. It specifically analyzed levels of preparation by focusing on whether countries have the proper tools in place to deal with serious disease outbreaks. Countries were scored on a scale of 0 to 100 where 100 is the highest level of preparedness.

The United States was named as the country with the strongest measures in place and it came first with 83.5 out of 100.
The United Kingdom came second with 77.9 followed by the Netherlands with 75.6.

China, which has initiated a series of lockdowns in response to the outbreak, comes 51st with a score of 48.2.

This map shows levels of preparation across the world and Africa’s vulnerability is immediately noticeable. It has struggled with serious diseases in the past and in 2014 a major Ebola outbreak devastated parts of West Africa, killing over 10,000 people.

So far, countries in Africa have only reported 3 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. Nevertheless, the continent has some of the weakest countries when it comes to containing disease with Equatorial Guinea (16.2) and Somalia (16.6) the worst scoring countries in the Global Health Security Index.

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