Corona Virus

How these female leaders got the fight against COVID-19 right

By Tatenda Marwodzi

As the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic with nations currently under restrictive lockdowns, three female leaders have defied the odds and are successfully fighting the virus.

As of today, the World Health Organisation has reported a death rate of over 6%, 6 deaths per 100. China reported 83797 cases with 4 deaths per 100 infected and the US alone has reported a staggering 604 070 cases with 4 deaths per 100 infected.

The following three leaders have surprisingly contained their countries’ death rates at very low numbers.

Katrin Jakobsdottir of Iceland -Iceland led by 44-year-old prime minister Katrin Jakobsdottir is the poster child for what successfully fighting the outbreak means. As of today, only 1727 cases have been reported with only 8 deaths. While in most nations coronavirus tests are not readily available to everyone with many only testing when symptoms have worsened, in Iceland getting a coronavirus test it is as easy as pie.Iceland never imposed a restrictive lockdown, rather they tested and tracked efficiently.

Tsai ing-wen of Taiwan– Despite being right next to the coronavirus epicentre, China, Taiwan has impressively contained the outbreak. With a population of over 24 million, only 390 cases and 6 deaths have been reported. Like Iceland, Tsai Ing-wen achieved this without imposing a restrictive lockdown. Instead, Taiwan acted fast. Within days of China reporting its first case, Taiwan began rapid testing and isolation of suspected cases. By the time the world was finally paying attention to the pandemic, Taiwan had tested hundreds of thousands and was actively tracking positive individuals digitally. To date, the death rate remains at 1.5 per cent.

Angela Merkel of Germany– While Germany reported more infections than China, the country impressively kept the death rate to lower than 2 per cent. With the help of the private sector, Merkel’s Germany conducts over 100 000 tests daily. The country prepared these test kits well before its first infection.

What is very distinct about these three leaders was their quick response and preventative approach- testing, tracing, quarantining and more testing. Mass testing works even better than just imposing restrictive lockdowns.

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