89.6 Overall Score (up 8.2 since Aug 1st.)

Australia

  • 73.9 Public Health
    Directives
  • 70.1 Financial
    Response
  • 100 Fact-Based
    Communication
  • 73.9 Public Health
    Directives
  • 70.1 Financial
    Response
  • 100 Fact-Based
    Communication

Australia is a very strong performer, particularly due to a generous financial response by way of income support, but delayed implementation of its policies pulls down its score.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Australia had relatively strong pre-pandemic capacity, given its minimal debt, a healthy population, relatively strong GDP per capita, and widespread healthcare access.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 41.4%
  • GDP/capita $54,799
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 34.4
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 3
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 89.8
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 27

Government Response

Select a data point for more information
(Data points represent policy level as of Sep 1.)
73.9

Public Health Directives

Australia has a relatively robust public health policy, driven by very strong contact tracing and travel restrictions, though limited emergency healthcare funds, relaxed stay-at-home policy, and limited testing pull its score down.

  • Stay at home order 3
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 3
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $72.94
  • Travel restrictions 4
  • Tests/1,000 people 241.9
  • Contact tracing 2
70.1

Financial Response

Australia’s financial response has been generous, including income support for workers and debt forgiveness, even though its overall stimulus was moderate.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 10.8%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 2
100

Fact-Based Communication

Australia’s leadership has maintained regular, fact-based communication with the public.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 0
  • Press freedom 0

COVID-19 Status as of Sep 1

Australia has maintained one of the lowest death and case rates in the Index, despite its aging population, likely due to testing a wide range of its population.

  • Total deaths 652
  • Death rate per 100K 25.6
  • Total cases 25,746
  • Cases per 100K 1,010
  • Percent of positive tests 0.2
  • Change in positivity rates -0.5
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown

Differentiating Factors

  • Government secures vaccine deal; will provide to citizens for free: The Australian government has secured supply of pending vaccine from AstraZeneca and, if successful, intends to manufacture it locally and provide it for free to its population of 25 million. Read More
  • Pre-pandemic preparation: In recent years, the federal government has stepped up its preparation for a health crisis, stockpiling useful medical equipment, and directing money and personnel toward agenices responsible for monitoring infectious diseases and coordinating between state and federal governments, which have not historically worked well in tandem. Read More
  • Heeding lessons from H1N1: Learning from its mistakes during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, Australia has focused much of its attention on preventing the spread of coronavirus in Aboriginal communities, which have worked in partnership with the federal government to spread clear public health messages, and implement travel restrictions in indigenous areas. Read More
  • Risks of cutting financial support: Despite the success of its generous emergency support package, which includes payments to support furloughed workers, economists have warned that the timeline for ending this support is too rapid, and may cause a cliff-edge economic downturn if implemented too suddenly. Read More
Compared with Other Asia Pacific Island Nations
  • 88
    Japan 68,392
    Cases
    541
    Per 1M
    1,296
    Deaths

    Japan has a very strong overall score, driven by its generous financial response and a reliance on facts, although its public health policy is slightly below the median.

  • 80.6
    Indonesia 174,796
    Cases
    639
    Per 1M
    7,417
    Deaths

    Indonesia performs relatively strongly in the Index, with consistent scores across all categories.

  • 63.7
    Taiwan 488
    Cases
    21
    Per 1M
    7
    Deaths

    Taiwan has a relatively strong overall policy score, but does not score as highly as expected due to a lack of lockdown, minimal stimulus, and weak support for debt relief. Given data limitations, the score likely underestimates Taiwan’s very strong contact-tracing policy, which is so advanced that it may have diminished the need for other policy responses.

  • 100
    New Zealand 1,401
    Cases
    291
    Per 1M
    22
    Deaths

    New Zealand has had very strong policy, particularly its reliance on science and facts, and its very strong financial response.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

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New Zealand

Statistics and government response factors available on each country profile include:

Pre-COVID Conditions:

  • Debt to GDP ratio
  • Infant mortality rates
  • Hospital beds per 1,000 people
  • Gini coefficients measuring inequality
  • Health access and quality

COVID-19 Public Health Directives:

  • Stay-at home orders
  • School-closing policy
  • Public-gathering restrictions
  • Cancellation of public events
  • Testing policy and rates per 1,000 people
  • Emergency healthcare spending per capita
  • Travel restrictions
  • Contact tracing

COVID-19 Financial Response:

  • Stimulus package as a share of GDP
  • Income support
  • Debt-forbearance

Public Communications:

  • Instances of misinformation by leadership
  • Limitations on press freedom, censorship

Current/Historic In-Country COVID-19 Status:

  • Death rates per 1 million
  • Case rates per 1 million