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Hong Kong leads world in Covid recovery

HONG KONG IS THE world leader in Covid recovery, a global survey revealed today.

Residents of the southern Chinese city are back at work or school, can dine in restaurants, shop in malls, go to cinema, and even use the airport, scoring 96 out of 100 on the “normalcy” scale, the Economist magazine reported.

But Singapore (scoring 54), and Taiwan (45) fared poorly, and Malaysia has seen a dramatic fall from 55 in April to just 27 now, the survey said.

“Many places are sliding backwards,” the researchers said. “Australia, Bangladesh, and Thailand have all imposed new restrictions.”

Hong Kong is even ahead of internationally feted New Zealand (scoring 88), despite the fact that the Chinese city faced far bigger challenges. Hong Kong is a major travel hub and the city’s anti-China movement discourages vaccination, even conducting arson attacks on quarantine centers.

Data from the Economist, graphic by Friday magazine, model by icons8/ Unsplash

Hong Kong’s efficient, ambush-style targeted lockdowns have worked well at preventing the virus moving into the main population, and vaccines are easy to get and free.

The global score is about 66, with some major regions edging upwards. China and the United States are level at 73, and the European Union is at 71. Britain, fighting a tough outbreak of the Delta variant, is at 62.

Data from the Economist

On first glance at the data, there appears to be little correlation between normalcy scores and vaccination rates.

“Even Chile, where 77% of over-12s have a vaccine dose, locked down its capital last month,” the Economist said. But time lags are a factor, and recovery will be linked indirectly to vaccination levels, the study said. Places with the worst outbreaks have the most restrictions.

With the Delta variant spreading, Hong Kong and New Zealand can’t afford to be complacent.

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Main picture: child by Leo Rivas/ Unsplash, graphic by Friday magazine

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