UAE tops global Covid-19 resilience rankings

The Emirates, Cyprus, Bahrain and Israel are the leading nations with fast and effective booster shot campaigns

A sign points the way to a Covid-19 vaccination centre in Dubai. AFP
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The UAE has come first in the latest Covid-19 global resilience rankings, followed by Cyprus, Bahrain and Israel.

The Emirates was placed first in the Pandemic Resilience Index 2022, which was compiled by the Consumer Choice Centre, an advocacy group based in the US.

Mass testing, vaccination approval and distribution of booster shots were among the key factors that helped the UAE to secure the top spot.

The UAE was the pioneer of the booster rollout. Countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Canada took five months longer to get it up and running
Maria Chaplia, Consumer Choice Centre

The original index, which collated data up until March last year, ranked the UAE second in the world when it came to Covid-19 resilience.

However, the updated index incorporates new data between the end of March and late November last year, taking into consideration each country's booster programme.

“The UAE was the pioneer of the booster rollout,” said Maria Chaplia, research manager at the Consumer Choice Centre.

“Countries such as New Zealand, Ukraine, Australia, Spain and Canada took five months longer to get it up and running.

“Compared to the initial results, the change in the ranking is largely due to the booster vaccine rollout delays.”

According to the data, Israel, which was ranked the most resilient country in the original index, started administering boosters 75 days later than the UAE.

With the onset of new variants of the infection over the past nine months, Ms Chaplia said the UAE dramatically increased its testing to try to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Greece recorded the highest increase in testing — up 500 per cent — between March and November last year, while Luxembourg and Sweden reduced their testing.

The Pandemic Resilience Index ranked 40 countries according to their health systems' resilience to the Covid-19 crises.

It scored countries out of 10 for the efforts in tackling the pandemic head on, with the UAE securing 9.5.

The only two countries to move down the list were Israel, which moved from first to fourth, and the UK, which fell from fourth to seventh.

Updated: January 27, 2022, 11:16 AM