The Republic of Somaliland ranked the second of the least-safe country in the world for COVID-19, according to a new report released on August 23, 2020.
The Deep Knowledge Group released their latest rankings of over 250 countries last month.
They said the safest country in the world is currently Germany followed by New Zealand (2nd), South Korea (3rd), Switzerland (4th), and Japan (5th). Australia came in 6th place and China at 7th.
According to a report released by the Deep Knowledge Group, Somaliland is in 251st place while Western Sahara is the most dangerous region in the world and sits at 252nd. Somalia is on 247th, Ethiopia is on 159th, Djibouti is on 242nd, and Kenya is on 109th.
This report comes after two months when the government of Somaliland has officially lifted all COVID-19 restrictions including flights, schools, meetings, social gatherings, and all other businesses.
Somaliland’s Vice President Abdirahman Saylici told local media in the capital Hargeisa on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, that the government has removed restrictions on education, youth sports, and wedding ceremonies. Saylici, who noted that a ban had also been lifted on flights from Hargeisa airport, cautioned the community to exercise great care with the lifting of restrictions, saying people entering Somaliland will be required to produce a letter stating they are COVID-19 free. He also said the wearing of masks and social distancing measures will continue to be observed.
According to the Ministry of Health since the virus arrived in late March Somaliland has so far reported 911 infections with 31 deaths. As many as 779 have also recovered.
Meanwhile, Suleiman Ali Kore, information minister of Somaliland tested positive for the COVID-19 on Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
“I have tested positive for the coronavirus after I and other ministries went to a testing lab in the city Las Anod, Kore, said in a news conference.
The minister said that while he is feeling healthy, he has put himself in quarantine.
He said over the past few weeks, the country is reporting a rising number of pandemic infections, fearing the outbreak of the second wave in Somaliland.
According to the report released by the Deep Knowledge Group, the other most dangerous countries are Afghanistan, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Mali.
The latest ranking is based on multiple medical, economic, and political factors which create an overall score.
“Deep Knowledge Group’s new COVID-19 special analytical case study is designed to classify, analyze and rank the economic, social and health stability achieved by each of the 250 countries and regions included in its analysis, as well as the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats or risks that they present in the battle against the global health and economic crisis triggered by COVID-19,” the group said.
The United States currently sits at 55th, because it is “infused with a libertarian ethos”, and citizens aren’t responding well to restrictions.
“The culture of North America in general, and the United States especially, is infused with a libertarian ethos and the population does not respond favorably to authoritarian measures such as lockdowns and mandatory mask-wearing, however temporary and efficacious they are acknowledged to be.”
The report also compared the US’s early response to neighbor Canada’s.
“These two neighboring countries initially had similar patterns of irregular spikes but with Canada lagging several days behind the US. The main divergence began in March, though not clearly visible at that time. With their numbers having remained similarly low and insignificant until March, it only took a few days for daily growth in the United States to approach 50 percent, so that in less than a week the total the number of cases was five times greater than in Canada, and five days after that it was 10 times greater.”
The South American country of Uruguay (48th) is also given a special mention for its response.
“It is a high degree of social responsibility of its citizens and authorities, that impedes the spread of the pandemic,” the report says.
“A national health emergency, with associated measures, was declared after the first four deaths, which lead to a much lower number of total incidents in absolute measures and per 1 million of population, as well as to a more or less low level of mortality, despite the fact that 15 percent of people in Uruguay are 65 years of age and above.”
The COVID-19 Regional Safety Assessment’s framework comprises 6 top-level categories (Quarantine Efficiency, Government Efficiency of Risk Management, Monitoring and Detection, Health Readiness, Regional Resilience, and Emergency Preparedness). Each category consists of a matrix of sub-parameters (referred to here as Indicators), whereas each indicator itself consists of a matrix of 2-10 quantitative or qualitative sub-parameters, relating to the specific topic and composed from available databases. They relate to specific important factors impacting the stability of current regional circumstances, of the effectiveness of various regions’ emergency response efforts, and these variables will also address post-pandemic planning measures in future studies.
According to these 6 top-level categories, Somaliland scores as follow:
Somaliland position: 251
Quarantine Efficiency: 97.35
Government Efficiency of Risk Management: 54.06
Monitoring and Detection: 49.7
Health Readiness: 17.71
Regional Resilience (Country vulnerability): 50.08
Emergency Preparedness: 56.25
Total score: 325.14
The 50 safest countries, according to the report:
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
- Saudi Arabia
- Hong Kong
- United Kingdom
- San Marino
The 50 most dangerous countries and territories, according to the report:
- Western Sahara
- South Sudan
- The Central African Republic
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Burkina Faso
- Ivory Coast
- Republic of the Congo
- Saint Pierre and Miquelon
- French Southern and Antarctic Lands
- Northern Cyprus
- French Guiana
- West Bank and Gaza
- Indian Ocean Territories
- British Indian Ocean Territory
- Cook Islands
- Heard Island and McDonald Islands
- South Georgia and the Islands
- Siachen Glacier
- Saint Barthelemy
- Sierra Leone
- Saint Martin
- Channel Islands
- Norfolk Island
- Wallis & Futuna
- Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba
“Officially, more than 50% of cases in Africa are recorded in the South African Republic, though it has a less risky profile thanks to much more efficient governance and quarantine. Other countries with large numbers of cases typically are more developed ones located in the western half of the continent, abundant with natural resources and consequently the site of major cities with large conurbations, which don’t always even have access to necessary facilities not to mention affordable and qualitative medicine. Taking into account dependency on informal SMEs that lack official support, strict but not always logical approaches to prohibitions, and usually inefficient economics, COVID-19 is sure to leave some states with clear long-lasting effects. Another risk factor is low penetration of ICT, low diversification, and lack of access to sanitation facilities, especially in rural areas. It is worth mentioning that despite the fact that Africa has the lowest number of cases, theirs has amounted to more than 1 million as of August, 16 and the rate of growth would be much higher than the rest of the world even if the available information is true, which is apparently it is not.
Nonetheless, in Africa, the main variation in the distribution of cases is between large central inland states and small island states. The latter has the lowest number of cases: Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Sao Tome, and Principe. These small island states, including Seychelles, have 0% of fatal cases ratio and 99% recovery, which an unprecedented kind of result for Africa and among the best in the world, although they rely somewhat on their isolated status, and the data on these places is forever threadbare owing to their disinterest in gathering sharing their healthcare data globally. Furthermore, there are only 100 thousand inhabitants. The population of Mauritius is 1.2 million and the recovery there is 97%, which is also a lot. There are other countries and territories which are located on the continent and have fewer cases, including bigger ones. However, statistics from Africa are not very reliable. Reliable, comprehensive, and precise information is required for more efficient work, by governmental and municipal authorities and local medics, and also international development institutions and NGOs. Despite the concerns about data, the threat of the humanitarian crisis in Africa is becoming more and more apparent and not only in terms of healthcare. Insecurity, poor healthcare systems, corrupt governance, and other severe risks create additional unfavorable conditions and barriers to fighting COVID-19.
There are two African countries included in the very short list of recommendations of the European Commission regarding lifting travel restrictions – namely, Tunisia and Rwanda. Tunisia, although located between the two other countries in Northern Africa that are among those with the largest number of total cases (Algeria and Morocco), registered much lower total cases. Although it has increased during the first half of August and these countries have registered around 2-2.5 thousand cases now.
It is especially necessary to revise statistics for cases per 1 million in countries where there are very few official cases, but a relatively high mortality rate (especially given the small proportion of the elderly population) against the background of a weak institutional environment and humanitarian problems. Also questionable are statistics in those large countries where the official minimum number of cases per 1 million people is registered.
There are many countries listed above and they constitute the main population of the central, eastern and southern part of the continent, comprising Chad, Niger, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Angola, Burkina Faso, Eritrea, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo et al. In the most populous Kenya, Nigeria and especially Ethiopia, the extremely low recovery rate is also questionable, despite the fact that the official number of cases is not significant in absolute and relative terms, and mortality is at a low level.
Based on the official statistics, it was largely possible to reduce the momentum of new cases (if we compare the periods from May 15 to June 30 vs from July 1 to Aug, 16) for such countries as DRC, Mauritania, Gabon, Sudan, Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire, Nigeria, and to almost stall growth in Ghana. At the same time, countries appear where more and more cases are registered with an increase of 5 times or more (up to 20-40 times) in the compared periods – these are Namibia, Gambia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.”