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Singapore and Qatar, the two rich countries which have kept Covid death toll below 0.1%

Singapore & Qatar are among some of the wealthiest nations in the world, which means they can better afford the test kits and hospital beds they need.

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Singapore: As the global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic exceeds 250,000, two tiny nations stand out with the lowest fatality rates among countries who are experiencing major outbreaks.

In Qatar and Singapore, the death toll is less than 0.1% of reported infections. In Singapore, where total cases have surged to one of the highest in Asia as it grapples with outbreaks in foreign-worker dormitories, a 102-year-old woman recovered from the virus and was discharged from hospital over the weekend.

Patient demographics and the ability of the health-care system to cope are key to keeping the survival rate high in this pandemic, health experts say. While some countries with small outbreaks like Vietnam have not suffered a single death, those dealing with major spread — defined as more than 10,000 cases — often start to see their health-care infrastructure come under pressure.

Among economies with major outbreaks, Qatar’s case fatality ratio is the lowest at 0.07% — 12 deaths out of more than 16,000 cases. Singapore’s ratio is 0.093% of more than 19,000 infections. Both countries have also kept mortality from the virus low as a proportion of their populations: less than 0.5 per 100,000 people.

The two nations are also among some of the wealthiest in the world, which means they can better afford the test kits and hospital beds they need. Just behind Qatar and Singapore in survival rates are Belarus, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

These rates are calculated from official numbers self-reported by nations. Belarus has come under criticism for allegedly under-reporting its data.

Low case fatality ratios boil down to three things: testing, age of the population and intensive care unit capacity, said Raina MacIntyre, professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales.

“Countries that test more and detect more mild cases will have an apparently lower case fatality rate,” she said. Older populations and countries that exceed their intensive care unit and ventilator capacity will also have higher death rates, she said.

While Singapore has an aging population and a higher median age than Qatar, the majority of its infections are among low-wage foreign workers, who are typically young and undergo health checks before they are allowed into the country to work.

Similarly, many of the cases in the Middle East are within the younger, migrant workforce. The majority of the population in U.A.E. and Qatar are younger expatriates, who also go through health checks before entering the country, and are required to leave once their employment is over. – Bloomberg 

Also read: Why Singapore isn’t in a coronavirus lockdown — as told by a doctor of the country


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  1. Both Sinagapore and Qatar are NOT democracies, nor are they richer than New York, South Korea, Japan or LA. Yet we get to observe supposedly much better death ratio numbers in Qatar and Singapore. In particular, no one believes that Singapore with 56,000 cases has 27 deaths when a wealthy and democratic country like the Netherlands with 56,000 cases has 6,000 deaths and another rich and democratic country like South Korea has 17,000 cases and 273 deaths.

    Pretty obvious, dictatorships want to have happy their population. So they will misreport their death rate.

  2. The UK’s health system hasn’t been overrun yet we have had over 30k deaths. Testing doesn’t stop someone from dying if they have it, only maybe preventing others dying from it being passed on. Of someone has to go onto an ICU unit then the odds of them surviving are 50/50.
    The question is how are these countries stopping people getting to an ICU unit and if they aren’t stopping them then how on earth are these people surviving?

  3. Qatar is treating all the COVID 19 patients, irrespective of their resident status. Only one Qatari citizen of 86 years old died of COVID 19 who was suffering from some other chronic illnesses. The rest deaths are expatriates and are more than 50 years of age. Sorry, one is below 50 years. Today, recovered an aged lady of 85 years.
    Qatar has all the adequate medical apparatus such as ventilators and other facilities to tackle any critical situation.
    But, India is not in a position to tackle the situation where as the PPE kits are very scanty except in Kerala. The UP, a North Indian state consisting of 75 districts which has not even a single Ventilator in its 53 districts. Health workers of Delhi say to Indian TV channels, that they had not given ample safety kits. The BBC has reported that India has not revealing the COVID 19 deaths properly. Congress leaders say that Goa, a state of 1600000 population is not properly maintained or conducted COVID 19 tests in the hasty attempts to declare the state as COVID 19 free state..

  4. Hi, You should evaluate data more precisely.
    India with far higher population and verifiable data has reported 1 death per million population.

    Secondly qatar has set up quarantine camps to send back migrant workers to their respective countries. UAE as well. Qatar is not even counting Migrant Workers.

    Guys let’s not have a biased reporting, this is the media I refer colleagues and my students to read on business and get a world perspective.

    Sites to refer, worldometer, John Hopkins, Gates Foundation

    Prof S

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