Belgium does not score very well when it comes to death toll and number of infections arrives. But some countries have proven to have a master’s degree in pandemic management. It may not work in all areas, but these countries made the honors list in at least one category.
Best Preventive Action: Taiwan
Taiwan was the first to understand that the wave of colds was the dreaded virus from China, imported to its own country via airports. The country put the brakes on flights from China, quarantined travelers, banned cruise ships and launched a test strategy against you. The production of face masks quadrupled in a month. Combined with good contact tracing and a well-supported quarantine, Taiwan produces an excellent report. There is only one death per 3,366,140 inhabitants.
Quarantine Champion: Hong Kong
The semi-independent city-state of Hong Kong has one Covid death per 54,810 people. This is due to the high population density, one of the highest in the world. It imposed mandatory isolation protocols and adhered to them strictly.
Best Curve Breaker: New Zealand
The New Zealand island group imposed a tough lockdown under the auspices of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The islands were completely isolated from the world, but in the meantime New Zealand did just celebrate the New Year. The curve was put together, with the slightest outbreak there is firm intervention. It also helps: it is an island and therefore easier to insulate than, say, Belgium.
Gold Medal of Conservation of Economy: Denmark
Denmark, not in the EU and therefore with its own Covid policy, did everything to keep the economy open. This means that the first lockdown only came when Belgium was already in the middle of the second wave. It was not until early December that the government had to tighten the screws and there was a semi-lockdown that they would laugh about in New Zealand. In the meantime, the economy is spared. Those unable to work received compensation.
Best tester: South Korea
When it became clear that you could also spread Covid-19 without showing any symptoms, the South Korean state pushed hard for early testing. The country tested, per capita, twice as many as most countries in those first weeks of the pandemic. After a small second wave, South Korea kept it very quiet, although the beast showed its head again during the holidays. On December 24, the country broke its own record, with 1,244 new infections. In the meantime, that number has dropped dramatically.