Was the response to COVID-19 in the West disappointing in terms of comparative outcomes achieved?

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David Edmund Allen


This paper features an analysis of country level data generated by the COVID-19 pandemic as revealed in data related to deaths, populations, infections, recovered cases, and tests, for a global sample of 208 countries, plus measures of their policy responsiveness and relative preparedness. A subsample of the 39 OECD countries is also analysed in an assessment including measures of GDP per capita, and indices of country specific trust levels, The cumulative data set is taken from the Worldometer data source. The GHS Index and Oxford Stringency Index are used as policy benchmarks. Other indicators used include GDP/capita, Trust and Personal Trust Indices from the OECD. The results suggest that the advanced economies in the West have not managed the COVID-19 pandemic particularly well and there is no evidence of reduced death rates in these countries when compared to the average performance. On a relative global comparison, the poorer nations, and those in Africa particularly, appear to have performed relatively well, subject to the obvious caveat about the accuracy of the data used in this study. The Oxford Stringency Index does not appear to be informative and countries with a higher GHS Index rating performed relatively poorly. There is a perverse positive relationship between the GHS rating and the number of deaths and cases. This pattern is repeated in the smaller sample of 38 OECD countries. There is no evidence that higher levels of trust or country wealth led to improved outcomes except in the case of case fatality rates (CFR) which are just under 2 percent for OECD countries as opposed to 3.8 percent for the total sample.

Keywords: COVID-19, death rates, transmission, test regimes, relative performance, GSH Index, Stringency Index, Policy Indicators, Trust levels

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How to Cite
ALLEN, David Edmund. Was the response to COVID-19 in the West disappointing in terms of comparative outcomes achieved?. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 11, n. 3, mar. 2023. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <https://esmed.org/MRA/mra/article/view/3729>. Date accessed: 20 apr. 2024. doi: https://doi.org/10.18103/mra.v11i3.3729.
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