0 Overall Score (No change since Aug 1st)


  • 25.9 Public Health
  • 33.8 Financial
  • 0 Fact-Based
  • 25.9 Public Health
  • 33.8 Financial
  • 0 Fact-Based

Iran has a very weak policy score, due largely to very weak public health policy, driven by a severe lack of testing and substantial misinformation and press limitations by the national authorities.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Iran was near the median in its pre-pandemic capacity, with minimal debt, and its relatively healthy population counterbalanced by a very low number of hospital beds and low GDP per capita.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 32.2%
  • GDP/capita $17,832
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 40.8
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 12
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 71.1
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 10.2

Government Response

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

Public Health Directives

Iran has not mobilized any additional funds for emergency healthcare responses, which, coupled with its limited testing, and delayed travel restrictions, explains its very weak public health policy score.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 4
  • School closings 3
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 1
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $0.00
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 91.3
  • Contact tracing 1

Financial Response

Iran’s fiscal stimulus is relatively small, but it has offered strong debt support for workers to the extent that it is able, given the struggling economy.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 8.7%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

Press suppression and misinformation have been rife, with authorities suppressing information about the virus’s spread, ignoring the benefits of social distancing and PPE, and claiming that the coronavirus is a weapon made by the U.S. to bring down Iran.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 5
  • Press freedom 2

COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1

Iran’s in-country COVID-19 status is near the median, with a median death rate countered by a fairly low case rate and a low positivity rate. However, its limited use of facts and its press limitations might put some of these numbers in question.

  • Total deaths 55,337
  • Death rate per 100K 658.8
  • Total cases 1,231,429
  • Cases per 100K 14,661
  • Percent of positive tests 11.5
  • Change in positivity rates -1.6
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Apr 20 Malls and bazaars reopen 17.35
2 Apr 22 Parks and recreation areas reopen 16.34
3 May 12 Mosques reopen 18.36
4 May 16 Schools reopen 20.70
5 May 26 All businesses and major religious sites reopen 25.36
6 Aug 01 State of emergency extended until at least January 2021 30.47
7 Sep 12 Schools and seminaries reopen 25.98
8 Oct 03 Tehran and other provinces shut down schools, mosques, libraries and other public institutions for at least a week 42.58
9 Nov 28 New wave of restrictions, partial lockdowns, curfews, and mandatory facemasks 160.71

Differentiating Factors

Compared with the Nearest Countries in the Index
  • 80.2
    India 10,286,709
    Per 1M

    India scores just above the median, a large drop-off in recent months, keyed by substantial weakening of restrictions and worsening financial support.

  • 25.9
    Russia 3,153,960
    Per 1M

    Russia has a relatively weak score, with strong public health policy undone by weak financial support, limitations on press freedom, and spread of misinformation about the pandemic.

  • 34.1
    Turkey 2,220,855
    Per 1M

    Turkey has very weak policy, driven by little emergency spending, stimulus, or debt relief, and loosening restrictions. It also has limited press freedom and has conducted minimal testing.

Further Reading From Foreign Policy

Be the source of actionable insight.

Select one of the subscription options below to read the full Covid-19 Global Response Index. Unlock even more global intelligence with a subscription to FP Insider.

Already an FP Insider?

Best Value

One-Year All Access
FP Insider


1-year of full access to FP Insider exclusive content and subscription benefits

See benefits  ▾

  • All FP Analytics Special Reports, including the COVID-19 Global Response Index
  • FP Analytics Power Maps
  • Editorial conference calls
  • Unlimited articles on ForeignPolicy.com
  • Digital and print editions of FP’s award-winning magazine
  • Print archive, containing 50 years of FP journalism
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Security and defense news alerts
  • Bonus episodes of FP podcasts
  • FP mobile app

❌ Hide benefits


COVID-19 Report Bundle


30-day Access to the COVID-19 Global Response Index and Global Race to Vaccinate report

Looking for group access? Contact us directly

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