Least corrupt nations generate best Covid-19 response: Study

WION Web Team
Berlin Published: Feb 02, 2021, 07:00 PM(IST)

File photo of Coronavirus in Spain Photograph:( AFP )

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The Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures the perception of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, has carried out the study. 

According to a closely-watched annual study by an anti-graft organization, countries with the least corruption are highly likely to weather the health and economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Transparency International’s 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, which measures the perception of public sector corruption according to experts and business people, has carried out the study. 

It says the countries that have invested well in healthcare, were “better able to provide universal health coverage and are less likely to violate democratic norms.” 

Covid-19 is not just a health and economic crisis. It is a corruption crisis - and one that we are currently failing to manage,” said Transparency head, Delia Ferreira Rubio.  

The United States has hit a new low in this year’s index amid a steady decline under the presidency of Donald Trump, with a score of 67 on a scale where 0 is “highly corrupt” and 100 is “very clean.” 

The US has tied with Chile for the 25th spot, behind many other western democracies. It has dropped from scores of 69 in 2019, 71 in 2018 and 75 in 2017. And was down to the lowest level since figures for comparison have been available. 

The Transparency report, which is based in Berlin, said, “In addition to alleged conflicts of interest and abuse of office at the highest level, in 2020 weak oversight of the $1 trillion Covid-19 relief package raised serious concerns and marked a retreat from longstanding democratic norms promoting accountable government.”  

According to the analysis of the report, the link between corruption and coronavirus response is widely visible around the world. 

Uruguay scored 71 — putting it at 21st place on the list. The country invests heavily in healthcare and has a strong epidemiological surveillance system, which has helped not only with Covid-19 but also other diseases, such as yellow fever and Zika, the organization said. 

Meanwhile, Bangladesh, which scored 26 and is placed 146th on the list, “invests little in healthcare while corruption flourishes during Covid-19, ranging from bribery in health clinics to misappropriated aid,” said Transparency.  

Of 180 countries surveyed, two-thirds scored below 50 out of 100 and the average score was 43. 

Denmark and New Zealand tied for the first place as the countries seen as least corrupt, with scores of 88, followed by Finland, Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden with scores of 85, Norway at 84, the Netherlands at 82, and Germany and Luxembourg at 80 to round out the top 10. 

Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Britain each scored 77 for 11th place. 

(With inputs from agencies)

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