Bahrain tops Nikkei’s COVID-19 Recovery Index for November


By Habib Toumi

MANAMA: Bahrain topped the list of the countries on the Nikkei’s COVID-19 Recovery Index for November as the Kingdom consolidate its achievements in confronting the pandemic and returning to a normal way of life.

The index, first published in July, assesses 122 countries and regions in terms of COVID recovery by calculating a score between 0 and 90 based on nine factors divided into three categories: infection management, vaccine rollouts, and mobility.

The higher the ranking, the closer a country is to recovery — with low infections, higher inoculation rates and less-strict social distancing measures.

Three countries from the Gulf lead the top performers. Bahrain scored 73%, ahead of Kuwait (72%) the United Arab Emirates (70.5%), Malta and Taiwan (69%).

Nikkei said that most Asian economies moved up in the latest edition of the Index thanks to declining infection numbers, but it warned that the emergence of the omicron variant of the virus has thrown the outlook into doubt.

Earlier this year, daily infections in Asia accounted for almost two-thirds of the world total. But since mid-October, the region’s case count has been gradually decreasing even as the global tally rises anew.

By the end of November, Asia accounted for about 15% of the world total. Nonetheless, experts warn of a fresh wave of infections with the upcoming holiday season and Northern Hemisphere winter, Nikkei said.

“As long as transmission continues, the virus can continue to mutate as the emergence of omicron demonstrates, reminding us of the need to stay vigilant,” Takeshi Kasai, the World Health Organization’s region director for the Western Pacific, said.

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