Which Countries Get an ‘A Grade’ for their COVID-19 response (so far)?

Dr Stephen M. Whitehead
EDDi: Educational Digest
2 min readApr 12, 2020


Seems Bill Gates and I have the same thought.

Just a few days after I was pondering setting up a website* to allow people to give a grading to their country in respect of how it has handled Covid-19, up comes Bill with the comment that “Few countries are going to get ‘A-grade’ for their coronavirus response”.

I find this too tempting to resist, especially as it is Sunday afternoon, in lockdown, in front of my computer with nothing much to do, and not yet ready to watch my film of the week (Shankly: Nature’s Fire, if you are curious).

I’ve had a big lunch, an afternoon doze, and my brain is starting to work again.

So here goes.

This is my rating of the top SIX countries in terms of how they’ve handled Covid-19 so far. Warning, it is entirely subjective (well, mostly) and only relevant for the period between 17th November (first case confirmed in China) and 12th April (today).

A Graders:

  1. Vietnam

Population: 97.3 million; Weeks: 12; Cases: 260; Deaths: 0

2. Taiwan

Population: 23.8 million; Weeks: 12; Cases: 385; Deaths: 6

3. Thailand

Population: 69.8 million; Weeks: 15; Cases: 2,518; Deaths 35

4. Singapore

Population: 5.8 million; Weeks: 11; Cases: 2,299; Deaths: 8

5. Japan

Population: 126.5 million; Weeks: 12; Cases: 6,748; Deaths: 108

6. South Korea

Population: 52.2 million; Weeks:12; Cases: 10,512; Deaths: 214

The next question is: ‘why are they all in East and South East Asia?

Answers on a postcard (in the comments), please.

*Still pondering whether or not to do this.

**Number of weeks since first confirmed case

For more from Dr Stephen Whitehead: https://eddi.substack.com/



Dr Stephen M. Whitehead
EDDi: Educational Digest

Dr Stephen M. Whitehead: internationally recognised writer, researcher, sociologist in gender, men, masculinities, relationships, global education, identity.