By Shamali Varma
We are a little perturbed about the statistical survey results produced by Forbes in June & September against a Chinese think tank report on covid-19. While Forbes has placed Sri Lanka in 82nd place in June and 95th place in September, the Chinese think tank gives 2nd place to Sri Lanka. The results are definitely mindboggling and questions how on earth Sri Lanka landed up 95th in September according to Forbes and 2nd place in September according to Chinese think tank YICAI Research Institute. With Sri Lanka having 3380 confirmed cases, 3230 recoveries, 137 active cases and just 13 deaths since outbreak of covid 19 – FORBES needs to seriously provide an explanation beyond simply producing criteria topic headings.
As for 1st October 2020, according to the Wordometer website global covid-19 cases constitute 34,166,633 with 25,437,042 recoveries & 1,018,876 deaths. A really alarming figure. https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ Sri Lanka is placed 140 in a list of 215 countries.
The FORBES article is based on survey done by Deep Knowledge Group that is assessing countries on 6 areas.
- Quarantine efficiency
- Government efficiency
- Monitoring & Detection
- Healthcare Readiness
- Country Vulnerability
- Emergency Preparedness
China’s think tank, over and above the main covid-19 statistics (confirmed cases, deaths, recoveries & active cases) is scoring countries on their success in fighting the pandemic, their economic recovery and their international cooperation.
Where Forbes has placed Germany 1st, worldometres places Germany 22nd, while China’s think tank places Germany 23rd inspite of Deep Knowledge Group placing Germany 1st in Government efficiency and Healthcare readiness.
China’s think tank places Germany 44th in fighting pandemic, 10th in economic recovery & 24th in international cooperation (just one place higher than China)
We are talking about the same country that has 292,911 covid cases, 256,000 recoveries, 27,340 active cases and 9571 deaths.
How did Germany land up 1st in Forbes list?
China has 85,414 cases, 80,594 recoveries,186 active cases & 4634 deaths – the Chinese think tank ranks China 1st in an overall list of 108 countries as well as 1st in fighting against the pandemic, 2nd in economic recovery but 25th in international cooperation.
Forbes places China 7th place in both June & September update. Deep Knowledge Group tops China in emergency preparedness but places China below Australia, Japan, Switzerland, South Korea, New Zealand & Germany in Quarantine Efficiency. China is also placed below Germany, South Korea, Switzerland, Japan & Australia in Government efficiency. FORBES even lists China below Sri Lanka in country vulnerability, while USA has been placed above China in healthcare readiness. That is a laugh. The social media videos of American’s refusing to wear basic masks shows how healthcare ready America is! God gave us freedom to breathe they shout, not to wear masks!
Worldometer places US as the world’s most affected country though Forbes/Deep Knowledge Group places US 55th place in September & 58th place in June. US has 7,447,693 confirmed cases, 4,700,746 recoveries, 2,535,195 active cases and 211,752 deaths – the highest deaths in the world. But according to FORBES, USA scores more than Sri Lanka for government efficiency, monitoring & detection, healthcare readiness and even emergency preparedness. Sri Lanka has a higher score to US in country vulnerability though Sri Lanka has 13 deaths & 137 active cases against US 211,752 deaths and 2,535,195 active cases!
China’s think tank places US 98th on its list of 108 countries.
China’s think tank places India 45th place but FORBES places India in 56th place in June and 80th place in September. According to worldometer, India is 2nd after USA with 6,312,584 confirmed cases, 5,273,201 recoveries, 940,675 active cases and 98,708 deaths.
Now we come to Sri Lanka.
According to Worldometer for 1st October – Sri Lanka is placed 139 in terms of covid19 statistics alone out of a total of 215 countries. Sri Lanka has the lowest death rates in the world and belongs to a list of 25 countries with less than 15 deaths.
However, Forbes/Deep Knowledge Group has placed Sri Lanka 82nd in June and 3months later downgraded Sri Lanka further to 95th place in September. This is truly impossible and unacceptable given that Sri Lanka has just 137 active cases with only 13 deaths all of whom had been from either imported cases or contaminated & death from inherent other illnesses while out of the 3380 confirmed cases 3230 have already recovered & returned home.
All of the 30 countries in the FORBES list has scored more than Sri Lanka in the 4 main categories of Deep Knowledge Group – Quarantine Efficiency, Government Efficiency, Monitoring & Detection & Healthcare Readiness
Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar & Oman have scored above Sri Lanka in all 5 criteria areas.
Only Japan, China & Israel scored less than Sri Lanka under Country vulnerability.
Only Monaco & Andorra scored less than Sri Lanka under Emergency Preparedness
Yet the Shanghai-based YICAI Research Institute, part of the YICAI Media Group, China’s largest financial media conglomerate has listed Sri Lanka the second-best performer in the World Survey on Pandemic Control, in a survey of 108 countries.
China’s top 10 are China, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Korea, Myanmar, Australia, Thailand, New Zealand, Vietnam & Cambodia
In terms of fighting against pandemic – China ranks 1st (Sri Lanka is 3rd)
In terms of economic recovery – Myanmar ranks 1st (Sri Lanka is 12th)
In terms of international cooperation – Azerbaijan ranks 1st (Sri Lanka is 33rd)
The 2 surveys against the worldometer statistics & even WHO daily situational reports just do not make sense.
What is FORBES attempting to convey? It is just as well the Chinese think tank has come up with an alternate perspective of covid-19 which has enabled us to question FORBES and demand FORBES provide an explanation for its survey results.
Sri Lanka’s covid 19 was personally led by His Excellency the President with a task force that combined the health services, the public sector, armed forces, police and intel units that immediately identified clusters and put people into quarantine and managed to curtail the spread of covid via community transmission or even via clusters. This is a commendable achievement. All of Sri Lanka’s cases were imported cases from either Sri Lankans or tourists arriving from overseas.
In such a scenario, China identifying Sri Lanka as worthy of 2nd place suitably corresponds to the efforts taken and the results achieved.
“Sri Lanka absolutely deserves a global recognition on it without any bias.” Chinese embassy in Colombo tweeted.
It is a pity that renowned agencies like FORBES are lowering their reputation by playing politics with numbers because in the light of the data available it is impossible to accept the survey results of Deep Knowledge Group on behalf of whom FORBES is promoting.