Germany was the best ranked European country in a survey of citizens on how their respective governments have handled COVID-19.
The study by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) analysed 19 countries and asked citizens to rate key aspects of their government’s response to the health crisis.
China was the highest performing country with a score of 80.48 out of 100 points, while Ecuador (35.76) generated the lowest total of those sampled.
Other countries that performed well included South Korea and South Africa, while Brazil – where President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the pandemic – Sweden and Poland scored low.
Overall ISGlobal found that higher-scoring countries were primarily located in Asia while lower-scoring countries were found in Latin America and Europe.
“We asked questions about the measures taken to protect the population, we asked about access to COVID-19 test where many countries like Spain scored quite low,” lead author Dr Jeffrey Lazarus of ISGlobal told Euronews.
Overall countries were found to have performed well on perceived international cooperation, such as with the World Health Organization, but were faired poorly when it came to addressing mental health service availability during the pandemic.
“Across the board, the population scored countries low, which means governments or all sorts … need to do a better job of explaining control measures,” said Dr Lazarus.
In Spain, respondents to the survey were particularly critical about a lack of access to free and reliable COVID-19 testing in case of symptoms.
Meanwhile, in the UK, the survey found that the government was scored low for ensuring healthcare workers were given personal protective equipment (PPE).
Germany was the best-performing of European countries with a score of 61.32.
“The general population wants better communication, they need to understand the measures that are being taken,” Dr Lazarus told Euronews.
“Where there was trust in government, there was trust in the measures taken by that government.”
“Where the communication was reported to be uneven, unclear, or even confused, we found the population reported that the government measures were being implemented well.”
Watch Euronews’ interview with Dr.Jeffrey Lazarus on Good Morning Europe in the player above.
South Korea 74.54
South Africa 64.62
United States 50.57
United Kingdom 48.66