Safest coronavirus countries: Saudi Arabia, UAE rank in top 20 of COVID-19 analysis

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Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are among the top 20 safest countries in the world during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to a comprehensive data analysis by Hong Kong-based Deep Knowledge Group.

The UAE ranked 11th and Saudi Arabia 17th in Deep Knowledge’s COVID-19 Safety Assessment. Both countries are classified within the “Tier 1” category – 20 countries that ranked highest “in terms of regional safety and stability” in the era of COVID-19.

The 250-page analysis report, which is based on 130 parameters, ranked Switzerland, Germany, Israel, Singapore, and Japan as the top five safest countries out of 200.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia took the number one spot in the analysis’ “regional resiliency” index, which considers how a country’s demography, geopolitical stability, and societal discipline, and other factors influence safety during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Kingdom ranked seventh in the emergency preparedness index, which takes into account four factors including emergency military mobilization experience and level of societal emergency resilience – the overall level of preparedness that incorporates “psychological, cultural and religious practices and attitudes.”

Saudi Arabia also ranked 19th in the “monitoring and detection” index, which included indicators of testing efficiency and transparency of data.

Employees work at the Saudi National Health Emergency Operations Center in the capital Riyadh on May 3, 2020. (AFP)

Employees work at the Saudi National Health Emergency Operations Center in the capital Riyadh on May 3, 2020. (AFP)

 

In contrast, Iran – which has come under domestic and international skepticism for its transparency and accuracy of official coronavirus numbers – ranked 100th out of 200.

Saudi Arabia has so far conducted over 1 million tests for COVID-19 and has reported 161,005 cases in its population of approximately 33 million.

The Kingdom was one of the first countries in the Middle East to close its borders in early March as the coronavirus began its rampant spread in the region.

Authorities also acted early, on February 27, to halt entry for individuals seeking to perform the Islamic Umrah pilgrimage in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Men pass through a self-sterilization gate set up at an entrance of the Grand Mosque as a protective measure against COVID-19, in Mecca on May 7, 2020. (SPA)

Men pass through a self-sterilization gate set up at an entrance of the Grand Mosque as a protective measure against COVID-19, in Mecca on May 7, 2020. (SPA)

 

The Saudi Ministry of Health announced in late May that the country would begin a new phase of its strategy to contain the spread of the coronavirus, focused on building up the healthcare system’s ability to accommodate critical COVID-19 cases, as well as the expansion of testing and early detection.

Saudi Arabia has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates in the world.

United Arab Emirates

The UAE ranked third in the world for monitoring and detecting COVID-19 cases, following Singapore and Israel respectively.

It also ranked second in emergency preparedness, following China

The UAE has conducted over three million coronavirus tests, the highest globally in terms of COVID-19 screening per capita, UAE Minister of Health Dr. Abdul Rahman al-Owais said on Wednesday.

Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services' mobile testing unit that provides free coronavirus screening at home for the elderly. (WAM)

Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services’ mobile testing unit that provides free coronavirus screening at home for the elderly. (WAM)

 

Health authorities in the UAE’s capital city Abu Dhabi have also developed an app called TraceCovid, which helps tracing people in the country who have come into close proximity with an infected individual.

Smart wristbands have also been implemented by the country’s health authorities to track and monitor COVID-19 patients who are required to self-isolate.

The country has reported a total of 44,925 coronavirus cases, with 32,415 recoveries, in its population of approximately 9.6 million people.

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