25.9 Overall Score (down 15.3 since Aug 1st.)


  • 79.8 Public Health
  • 22.3 Financial
  • 16 Fact-Based
  • 79.8 Public Health
  • 22.3 Financial
  • 16 Fact-Based

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.

Pre-COVID Conditions

Russia was relatively strong in pre-pandemic preparedness but is not a wealthy country, and it scores near the median for hospital beds and healthcare quality and access to care.

  • Debt/GDP ratio 14.6%
  • GDP/capita $30,820
  • Gini coefficient (out of 100) 37.5
  • Infant mortality rate (out of 1,000 live births) 6
  • Healthcare access score (out of 100) 71.7
  • Hospital beds/1,000 People 59.1

Government Response

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

Public Health Directives

Russia has had strong public health policy, owing to restrictions on social gatherings, although it initially limited who could get tested and has little emergency healthcare spending related to COVID-19.

  • Stay at home order 1
  • Public gathering restrictions 3
  • School closings 2
  • Public event cancellations 2
  • Testing policy 3
  • Emergency healthcare investments/capita $18.83
  • Travel restrictions 3
  • Tests/1,000 people 627.1
  • Contact tracing 2

Financial Response

Russia’s financial response was significantly below the median; its debt support was strong, but its stimulus was small, and it had very little income support.

  • Financial stimulus as share of GDP 4.2%
  • Income support 1
  • Debt forebearance 1

Fact-Based Communication

Russia scores low in this category, as it has propagated false information on COVID-19 and has greatly limited press freedom in response to the pandemic.

  • Reliance on science/fact based information 2
  • Press freedom 3

COVID-19 Status as of Jan 1

Russia's in-country status is near the median, with a fairly low death rate that is counterbalanced by a higher case rate; limited communication of facts and restrictions on press freedom regarding COVID-19 raise concerns about the accuracy of the data.

  • Total deaths 56,798
  • Death rate per 100K 389.2
  • Total cases 3,153,960
  • Cases per 100K 21,612
  • Percent of positive tests 6.6
  • Change in positivity rates +4.4
Case Trend Line
Daily cases Level 1 Lockdown Level 2 Lockdown Level 3 Lockdown
Date Status New Cases/1M
1 Jun 08 Retail and restaurants start to reopen (varies by region) 60.41
2 Jun 22 Final restrictions are lifted, including on gyms and restaurants 53.82
3 Sep 01 Schools reopen 32.71
4 Oct 27 Mask mandate 111.96
5 Nov 13 Clubs, bars, restaurants must close at 11 pm in Moscow 142.27

Differentiating Factors

  • Russia vaccinates 1 million: Russian officials confirmed that one million people have been vaccinated, but concerns remain over how to reach residents of rural areas. The milestone comes as the country recorded its lowest infection rate in over six months. Read More
  • Russian officials admit to high death rate: Despite months of denial from President Putin, officials admitted in late December that the country has in fact recorded the third highest COVID-related death rate in the world. The country recorded over 186,000 deaths from COVID-19 between January and November 2020. Read More
  • Russia and U.K. will cooperate on vaccines: The head of Russia's sovereign wealth fund RDIF called for vaccine cooperation over competition, as the British pharma company AstraZeneca and Russian Gamaleya Institute announced joint clinical trials of a combined vaccine. Read More
  • Russian leadership accused of disconnect from reality: As cases worsen in Russia, Putin has been accused of prioritizing loyalty over competence among his COVID-19 response team, leading him to underestimate the impact of the virus and the policy response. Read More
  • Russia begins vaccinations but lacks supply: Rollout of the Sputnik V began in Russia in December, but currently only two million doses are available for the country of 142 million people. Read More
  • Russia approves COVID-19 vaccine and moves toward manufacturing: Russia became the first country in the world to approve a vaccine, but the limited data upon which the approval was based would typically be insufficient for other international regulators such as the US Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency. Read More
  • UN considers Sputnik V: The UN considers whether to accept Russia's vaccine for UN employees. The UN will send medical professionals to evaluate the legitimacy of the vaccine. Read More
Compared with Other Arctic States
  • 59.2
    Canada 585,400
    Per 1M

    Canada has a relatively strong score, with poor public health policy countered by a continued reliance on fact-based communication.

  • 36.2
    United States 20,184,236
    Per 1M

    Still battling widespread COVID-19 cases and deaths, which were exacerbated by the former administration's limited use of facts and science, limited emergency healthcare spending, and limited debt relief, the Biden administration, by contrast, is taking aggressive action to combat the virus, although it may take time for the score to reflect these changes.

  • 53.9
    Norway 49,803
    Per 1M

    Norway scores just below the median, pulled down by its weak public health and financial response scores, despite a strong reliance on facts and a free press.

  • 30.8
    Sweden 437,379
    Per 1M

    Despite being known for a relatively strong public healthcare system, Sweden has been hit hard with cases; the country’s lack of stay-at-home orders and school closures, limited testing, and few gathering restrictions overshadowed its financial support, reliance on facts, and accountability with an open press.

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