Malaysia sinks to third from bottom in Bloomberg ranking on countries reopening

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Malaysia has sunk to near bottom of Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking for June, placing 51 out of 53 countries ranked for progress in reopening amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

EPA

Malaysia is just ahead of the Philippines and Argentina among the 53 countries measured in economy size of more than US$200 billion.

Bloomberg said it introduced the “Reopening Progress” as a new element to the ranking, which was not included in January when Malaysia was in 16th place.

In the first two weeks of the year, Malaysia was reporting between 2,000 and 3,000 new Covid-19 infecting daily, and around 500 deaths at the time. The nationwide state of emergency to fight the pandemic began on January 11.

As of yesterday, Malaysia has been reporting daily infections in excess of 5,000 and 5,001 deaths from the coronavirus.

In Bloomberg’s revised ranking system, new metrics are included at such as the ease of moving in and out of a place and air travel recovery.

The “Reopening Progress” ranking now looks at a country’s vaccination rate, lockdown severity, flight capacity and vaccinated travel routes.

These indicators have pushed up countries that before, were low in the ranking before widespread vaccination and easing of lockdowns.

The US, once the world’s worst Covid-19 ravaged country, is in first place following its massive vaccine rollout and easing of movement restrictions.

European countries such as Switzerland, France and Spain which have opened borders and are allowing travel for vaccinated tourists, are also in the top 10.

China, Covid-19’s epicentre, is ranked 8th.

But countries that continue to impose border controls and rely on lockdowns, such as Malaysia, have slipped from their previous positions.

These countries include Singapore (13th place), Hong Kong (30) and Taiwan (44).

“While life internally has largely returned to normal, they remain shut to the outside world with even a handful of cases triggering the sorts of restrictions highly vaccinated places are abandoning.

“As others accept that Covid is endemic and move on, these places are at risk of being stuck in cycles of lockdowns, a particular blow for smaller travel-reliant economies,” said Bloomberg.

Bloomberg’s data was as of June 27.

It also noted that the situation could change, given the spread of the more infectious Delta variant. – TMI