Australia snubbed in global COVID ranking
Australia has been snubbed in a global survey measuring nations' responses to COVID-19, sitting below Germany despite the country recording 10,000 deaths this month.
Australia ranked 11th in the Global Soft Power Index in what agency Brand Power claims is "the world's most comprehensive research study on perceptions of nation brands".
Countries were given a net score - the difference between "handled it well" and "handled it badly" in response to three measures: economy, health and wellbeing, and international aid and co-operation.
The survey had 75,000 respondents from the general public and 750 from specialist audiences about the handling of COVID-19 by 105 nations.
New Zealand took out top gong on the survey, with a net score of 43 per cent, having recorded 1765 cases and 25 deaths.
The United States ranked the worst with a net score of -16 per cent. The US has recorded more than 18 million cases of COVID-19 and 325,000 deaths.
Switzerland came second with a net score of 42 per cent, while Japan (41) Canada (39) and Germany (39) rounded out the top five.
Germany came fifth despite chancellor Angela Merkel and her nation recording more than 10,000 coronavirus deaths in December. The country is on course to see the number of fatalities double from last month.
Over the past few days, Germany has reported about 500 deaths every 24 hours, and more than 30,000 new infections on certain days.
Germany's efforts were particularly lauded by specialist respondents.
"According to the specialist audiences, in turn, it was Germany that has come out on top as the country that has handled COVID-19 best, with a net score of 71 per cent," the survey said.
"New Zealand was ranked third by specialist audiences with a net positive score of 57 per cent. Compared to the general public, the specialist audiences have understood and recognised the greater challenge that Germany has faced throughout the pandemic, as a nation with a much larger population and shared borders with several other nations, unlike New Zealand."
The survey also praised New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her protection of New Zealand's 4.9 million citizens.
"Hailed as a global success story in the combat of COVID-19, New Zealand has been rated by the general public as the country that best handled the pandemic, with a net score of 43 (per cent)," the survey read.
"Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's swift response and clarity of communication in handling the crisis has been widely praised by the media and recognised by people the world over."
Australia came in at No.11 with a net score of 37 per cent. Australia, with a population of almost 25 million, has recorded 908 deaths from 28,171 cases of COVID-19.
The survey also found the World Health Organisation's response to the global crisis received top marks in China, where the virus originated. Globally, 31 per cent of respondents believe WHO handled pandemic well.
Originally published as Australia snubbed in global COVID ranking