• A
  • A
  • A
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • ABC
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
  • А
Regular version of the site

Russia Is Among the Leaders of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic Response Efficiency Index

Russia Is Among the Leaders of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic Response Efficiency Index

© iStock

In a recent study, HSE University researchers analyzed and ranked the responses of 48 countries to the coronavirus pandemic. National responses were evaluated with regard to three factors: medical care, social support, and economic support. Among the 48 analyzed countries, Russia placed 7th, while Australia became the leader.

The Institute for Public Administration and Governance and Office for Expert Analysis at HSE University conducted a study of how successfully different countries have combated the COVID-19 epidemic, and the researchers created an index to illustrate the efficacy of each country’s response.

Andrey Zhulin, HSE University Vice Rector and Director for Expert Analysis

Andrey Zhulin, HSE University Vice Rector and Director for Expert Analysis

‘Over the past several months, hundreds of research teams across the world have been studying the coronavirus, government responses to it, and public attitudes to it. We understand that we may face similar challenges in the future and, therefore, we need to have integrated assessments of countries’ resilience to such stresses. This index is one such assessment. We must know our strengths and weaknesses and be ready to consider the best practices of the rating’s leaders.’

The researchers studied national responses in terms of three crucial dimensions: healthcare (i.e., the performance of health systems and the number of lives saved), social support (i.e., supporting incomes, preserving jobs, and ensuring the accessibility of education is accessible), and economic support (i.e., mitigating the damage to the economy).

For every dimension, certain components for assessment were identified and composite ratings were generated which served as the basis of the aggregate ranking. The initial sample included 48 countries with a combined population of about 6.35 billion people (82.5% of the world’s population).

In the overall ranking, Russia scored 68 points out of a 100, making it the 7th most efficient country in its response to the coronavirus crisis after Australia (78 points), Poland (75), Japan (74), the Czech Republic (74), Germany (73) and Austria (70). In terms of healthcare, Russia ranks 6th (with 77 points; Australia tops this category as well); in terms of social support, Russia places 18th (with 72 points), and in terms of economic support it places 12th (with 57 points). Germany is the highest-ranking country in the social rating, while the USA leads in economic indicators.

Russia’s high position in the healthcare rating is accounted for by its high performance in almost all indicators of the category. For instance, with respect to its health system capacity (i.e., the number of hospital beds, physicians, and medical personnel per 100,000 people), Russia placed 6th. With regard to the number of administered COVID-19 tests, Russia is second only to the UK, with Israel placing third. ‘Large-scale testing is one of the ways to contain the virus,’ the study suggests.  

© iStock

In regard to the ‘peak load’ indicator, i.e., the maximum number of new cases during 30 days per 100,000 people, which was considered by the healthcare rating, Russia placed in the middle tier of the list. ‘In particular, restrictive measures introduced by the Russian Government have helped to flatten the peak in the infection rate.  That is why, in the peak load rating, Russia’s placement is higher than when overall incidence rates are compared,’ the rating’s authors note.

With regard to COVID-19-associated mortality rates, Russia ranks among the countries with a low death toll per 100,000 people (fewer than 5 deaths). At the same time, Belgium was hit the hardest in terms of the death count, with over 30 deaths per 100,000 people, and the UK and Spain following immediately after. The lowest number of fatalities is observed in China, Australia, Japan, and South Korea. It should be noted that official mortality rates have been adjusted for population age structures, which, in turn, give due consideration to demographic differences between the countries.

In the social rating, Russia ranks highest for the ‘changes in employment’ component, which shows how effective the efforts of both the state and business have been in stabilizing the job market. ‘Thanks to government relief measures, Russia has managed to avoid significant job cuts—from March to May 2020, fewer than 1.1 million jobs were lost in the country. Russia placed 6th in the world for job market support, with Poland and some other countries in Western Europe ranking higher,’ the study indicates. At the same time, expert evaluations show that Russia has seen a significant drop in consumer demand, which is evidence of a serious decline in incomes. In addition, prices for medication and personal protective equipment (i.e., masks, hand sanitizers, disinfectants) have gone up.

In order to gauge the response of educational systems during the pandemic, a special aggregate rating was created. This rating considers attributes such as technology for maintaining academic processes, administering exams and tests in schools, and so on. For this indicator, Russia ranks in the second group of most successful countries, while Austria, Germany, Israel and Canada are the leaders in this category.  

In the economic rating, Russia’s highest positions are in the business activity improvement category (in which it ranks 6th out of 23 countries, for which respective PMI indices are calculated; Australia ranks first in this category), changes in the local mobility (8th place, with Sweden placing first); and changes in transport connectivity where Russia places second, after China). In terms of stability of internet infrastructure, Russia placed in the middle tier of the rating (20th), and for the sizes of fiscal stimuli for the economy, Russia placed 30th (the International Monetary Fund determined that the size of the Russian anti-crisis programme amounted to 3.4% of its GDP).

All primary data used for calculations, along with the ratings, are available in a special repository on Github. ‘Disclosure of primary data and calculation results will make them accessible for use by other researchers. It also meets the latest requirements for information transparency,’ says study co-author Marcel Salikhov of the HSE University Institute for Public Administration and Governance.

See also:

Researchers Find Therapeutic Targets to Fight SARS-CoV-2

Researchers from HSE University have developed new approaches for regulating the expression of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 enzymes, which play a crucial role in cell infection with SARS-CoV-2. The scholars discovered that small non-coding microRNA (miRNA) molecules are capable of performing a targeted decrease in ACE2 and TMPRSS2. The results of the study have been published in PLOS ONE journal.

'This was a Major Task for All University Services'

July marked the end of the first HSE academic term conducted entirely in remote format. Specialists of the eLearning Office and Digital Services told HSE University Life how they prepared for it and which problems they encountered.

Virus Clears Up the Atmosphere: How the Pandemic Has Affected Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Other Consequences of COVID-19 in Russia and the World

Lockdown and economic crisis have led to a drastic reduction of greenhouse gasses emissions in the world. This is one of the key messages of the HSE’s eighth 'coronavirus' newsletter. In addition, experts have evaluated the consequences of COVID-19 for Russian culture, health worker support measures in various countries during the pandemic, the EU economic recovery programme, and other scenarios. 

Joint Seminar of HSE Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology and George Mason University

First-year undergraduate students of the HSE Faculty of Biology and Biotechnology took part in an online seminar at George Mason University (USA). The seminar was part of the Coronavirus Research Update summer course, taught by Professor Ancha Baranova.

State and Civic Efforts Helped Save at Least 80,000 Lives in Russia During the Pandemic, HSE Experts Say

In a study, ‘How Many Deaths from COVID-19 Were Avoided by Russian Society’, experts from HSE University found that the restrictive measures taken by the Russian government and its citizens to combat the spread of the virus saved the lives of tens of thousands of Russians.

The Worst Is Probably Behind Us: HSE Experts on the Economic and Social Effects of COVID-19

Although the Russian economy is gradually recovering from this spring’s blow, it is too soon to talk about the situation evening out. Meanwhile, primary and secondary school students seem to be quite comfortable with uncertainty. Even more so, they appear to have a more positive view of the situation than their parents and teachers do. These are the discussion points of the sixth HSE analytical newsletter on the impact of COVID-19 on Russia and the world.

Trust in Mask: How COVID-19 Has Changed the Attitude of Russians to Each Other

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the whole country ended up in self-isolation, some people have to ask for support, others prepare themselves in readiness to provide it. Have Russians felt more cautious in recent months, or do people who have been forced to stay at home still remember how to trust and help? In order to find the answers to these questions, we can analyse the data from a new all-Russian survey conducted by HSE Centre for Studies of Civil Society and Non-Profit Sector.

COVID Downfall and the Fear of Returning to the Offices: Pandemic Impact on Russia and the World

In this, the fifth issue of our newsletter, HSE experts comment on the government’s 'Action plan for the business and citizens income recovery and economic growth', elaborate on the May outcomes of the OPEC+ deal and analyze how psychologically challenging it will be for Russian employees to go back to their offices.

How HSE University Is Developing Distance Learning

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, HSE University, as well as other universities around the world, has had to  quickly transition to online learning. How have students and instructors adapted to distance learning? What are the challenges that the university has faced?  How have assessment mechanisms changed?  HSE administrators and instructors answer these questions for the HSE News Service.

Museums Learn to Cope with Quarantine

Approximately six months before the introduction of restrictive measures, the Laboratory of Cultural Economics at the St. Petersburg campus of HSE began a study of how Russian and foreign museums conduct their online educational activities. The researchers released their initial findings in late January 2020, having managed to “take the temperature” of this market before the pandemic hit. Professor Valery Gordin and Research Associate Irina Sizova explain what it was like before the coronavirus crisis and how it will look afterwards.