New Zealand has been knocked from its top ranking as the best place to be during Covid-19 after being pipped to the post by Singapore.

Singapore has overtaken New Zealand and is now rated number one due to the fast speed at which it has rolled out the Covid-19 vaccine and due to having virtually no local transmission.

Until now New Zealand held the top spot on the Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking since it was launched in November 2020. New Zealand is still a close second place with just .1 per cent between it and Singapore.

But with almost a fifth of Singapore’s population already vaccinated, the small state is speeding well ahead of other countries such as New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan.

Only 1.9 per cent of New Zealand’s population has been vaccinated and only 3.7 per cent of that of Australia, which is in third place, has been vaccinated.

Otago University epidemiologist Professor Michael Baker said it was a “crude” indicator of how countries were doing, but did not think anyone should read too much into such a small margin of difference.

“New Zealand is among the countries that have had the most effective response in the world and really a few fractions of a per cent or even if it was a few per cent, it doesn’t mean anything.

“It’s just that it is much better to think about the way this has classified the world into countries that are managing the pandemic very well and New Zealand is in that group.”

The most critical things were whether New Zealand’s response was protecting public health and supporting recovery in an effective way, he said.

Baker was surprised Vietnam was only ranked 11th place because he believed its response was probably the best in the world given it had achieved the lowest case and mortality rates anywhere.

However, the ranking system doesn’t just rely on case rates or the high rate of vaccinations as Israel is still only in fourth place despite more than half of its population already having the jab.

The worst-ranked countries are Brazil, Poland and Argentina.

India, which is in the throes of a crippling second wave of the virus, is placed at 30 out of the 53 countries listed.

Bloomberg said more vaccinations need to be sent to poorer nations like India, which was driving global infection levels to new records.

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