The Commonwealth of Australia ranked 11th out of 105 nations in a global survey about the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic released by UK consultancy agency Brand Finance on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Germany ranked fifth overall and first when only taking into account specialist opinions – despite recording more than 10,000 deaths so far in December.
Australia has recorded just 908 deaths over the course of the whole pandemic – more than 10 times less than Germany’s December toll.
With a population of 25million, Australia has also only recorded 28,171 cases.
People are seen lining up at a pop-up COVID-19 testing facility in Avalon on Sydney’s northern beaches. Australia has been beaten by 10 other nations in a survey about its response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Commonwealth of Australia ranked 11th out of 105 nations in a global survey about the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic released by UK consultancy agency Brand Finance on Thursday
Brand Finance surveyed 75,000 people from the general public and 750 from specialist audiences globally to create its Global Soft Power Index, which it claims is ‘the world’s most comprehensive research study on perceptions of nation brands’.
Survey respondents were asked to rate the nations’ efforts in terms of three measures; stimulating the economy, protecting the health and well-being of citizens, as well as cooperating on the international stage and providing aid.
Countries were then given a net score, which is the difference between ‘handled it well’ and ‘handled it badly’ in response to the three measures.
New Zealand came first with a net score of 43 per cent, Switzerland was second at 42 per cent, Japan third with 41 per cent and Canada fourth with 39 per cent.
Germany secured fifth place with a net score of 39 per cent followed by Finland, Norway, Singapore, Denmark and South Korea.
By comparison, Australia scored 37 per cent to come 11th place, narrowly beating out the likes of Austria (36 per cent) and Sweden (35 per cent).
People do shopping ahead of new restrictions to be implemented by government in Berlin, Germany on December 14. Germany ranked fifth overall and first when only taking into account specialist opinions – despite recording more than 10,000 deaths so far in December
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (left) was also praised for her handling of the pandemic while German Chancellor Angela Merkel (right) will be happy to know her country’s response was the most praised by specialists
‘According to the specialist audiences, in turn, it was Germany that has come out on top as the country that has handled COVID-19 best, with a net score of 71 per cent,’ the survey read.
‘New Zealand was ranked third by specialist audiences with a net positive score of 57 per cent.’
The survey also said Germany faced more challenges in containing the virus than island nations like New Zealand and Australia.
‘Compared to the general public, the specialist audiences have understood and recognised the greater challenge that Germany has faced throughout the pandemic, as a nation with a much larger population and shared borders with several other nations, unlike New Zealand,’ the survey read.
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was also praised for her handling of the pandemic.
‘Hailed as a global success story in the combat of COVID-19, New Zealand has been rated by the general public as the country that best handled the pandemic, with a net score of 43 (per cent),’ the survey read.
‘Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s swift response and clarity of communication in handling the crisis has been widely praised by the media and recognised by people the world over.’
Patrons at Morningside Tavern enjoy drinks in Auckland, New Zealand. The survey concluded NZ is a ‘global success story’ in handling COVID-19
The survey also said Germany faced more challenges in containing the virus than island nations like New Zealand and Australia. Pictured: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison
The United States ranked the worst with a net score of -16 per cent, having recorded more than 18 million cases of COVID-19 and 325,000 deaths
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said the difference in results between NZ and the US was largely due to differences in leadership.
‘The stark contrast between the public’s perceptions of how New Zealand and the US handled the pandemic, epitomises the two nations’ contrasting visions of the world, spearheaded by almost polar-opposite leaders,’ Mr Haigh said.
‘On the one hand, we have Ardern’s open, liberal, and compassionate policies versus Trump’s often combative, protectionist, and isolationist approach.
‘With President-Elect Joe Biden getting ready to take the reins of power next year, all eyes will be on him to kickstart recovery across the nation.’
The World Health Organisation’s response to the global crisis was also highly praised in China, where the pandemic began.
Globally, 31 per cent of respondents believed WHO handled pandemic well.
Brand Finance CEO David Haigh said the difference in results between NZ and the US was largely due to differences in leadership. Pictured: US President Donald Trump