world
Wednesday Dec 01 2021
By
Web Desk

Winter and Omicron — best and worst places to be in amid variant scare

By
Web Desk
Medics wearing PPE transfer patients infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) into the Airbus A310-900 MRTT MedEvac Hermann Koehl of the German armed forces Bundeswehr before they are airlifted and transported to other intensive care units (ICU) in the country, at Dresden International Airport, Saxony, eastern Germany on December 1, 2021۔ — AFP
Medics wearing PPE transfer patients infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) into the Airbus A310-900 MRTT MedEvac Hermann Koehl of the German armed forces Bundeswehr before they are airlifted and transported to other intensive care units (ICU) in the country, at Dresden International Airport, Saxony, eastern Germany on December 1, 2021۔ — AFP

The new coronavirus variant Omicron has sparked worries around the world that it could likely resist vaccinations and prolong the nearly two-year-old COVID-19 pandemic.

The variant was first reported to the World Health Organisation in South Africa a week ago and has spread rapidly across the globe, with borders shutting and dozens of countries rolling out travel restrictions.

The variant emerged as much of the northern hemisphere was already bracing for a new winter wave of the pandemic — leaving even nations with high vaccination rates struggling to contain rising infection numbers and prevent health services from being overwhelmed.

Governments, particularly in Western Europe, have already reintroduced mandatory mask-wearing, social-distancing measures, curfews, or lockdowns — leaving businesses fearing another grim Christmas.

Britain has set a target of delivering third jabs to all adults within two months.

The WHO has warned blanket travel bans will not prevent the spread of Omicron and warned that "blanket" travel bans risked doing more harm than good, just as Canada expanded its restrictions.

In a travel advisory, the WHO warned the bans could ultimately dissuade countries from sharing data about the evolving virus.

While much is still unknown about the Omicron variant — it could take weeks to determine whether and to what extent it is vaccine-resistant — it has highlighted that the global fight against COVID-19 is far from over.

In the light of the new variant's emergence, Bloomberg has put together a list of countries for people that can be considered the worst and the best to be in during winters.

The publication used a "Covid Resilience Ranking" which analyses monthly data from the world's 53 leading economies. It tracks "where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic upheaval".

The list has been compiled using 12 data indicators, including virus containment, healthcare quality, vaccination coverage, overall mortality, and progress toward restarting travel.

Rankings

1. UAE

2. Chile

3. Finland

4. Ireland

5. Spain

6. Turkey

7. Canada

8. Sweden

9. France

10. Denmark

11. Norway

12. UK

13. US

14. Colombia

15. Japan

16. South Korea

17. Bangladesh

18. Portugal

19. Israel

20. Hong Kong

21. Iraq

22. Iran

23. Argentina

24. Saudi Arabia

25. Switzerland

26. India

27. Italy

28. Mainland China

29. Brazil

30. Netherlands

31. Belgium

32. Germany

33. Australia

34. Greece

35. Taiwan

36. New Zealand

37. Singapore

38. Peru

39. Pakistan

40. Nigeria

41. Romania

42. Egypt

43. Mexico

44. Russia

45. South Africa

46. Czech Republic

47. Thailand

48. Austria

49. Poland

50. Malaysia

51. Vietnam

52. Indonesia

53. Philippines