What do the best coronavirus responses have in common? They are all led by women, an interesting observation made last week by social media users as they shared collages of women leaders while pointing out how they are doing a disproportionately better job at handling the pandemic.
News reports show how New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Arden took early action to shut down tourism and impose a month-long lockdown on the entire country, limiting coronavirus casualties to just four deaths.
Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany took the bug seriously and the country began testing right from the get go. Germany has overseen the largest-scale coronavirus testing program in Europe, conducting 350,000 tests each week, detecting the virus early enough to isolate and treat patients effectively. The country’s numbers are far below its European neighbours, and there are signs they may be able to start loosening restrictions relatively soon.
Iceland, under the leadership of Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir, is offering free coronavirus testing to all its citizens. According to an April 13 article on Forbes.com, the country will become a key case study in the true spread and fatality rates of Covid-19. The report stated: “Most countries have limited testing to people with active symptoms. Iceland is going whole hog. In proportion to its population the country has already screened five times as many people as South Korea has, and instituted a thorough tracking system that means they haven’t had to lockdown… or shut schools.”
A look at the numbers (April 15)
Germany: 132,210 cases, 3,495 deaths, 72,600 recoveries
Iceland: 1,720 cases, 8 deaths, 989 recoveries
New Zealand: 1,386 cases, 9 deaths, 728 recoveries
Denmark: 6511 cases, 299 deaths, 2515 recoveries
Finland: 3161 cases, 64 death, 300 recoveries