New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan head a COVID performance index of almost 100 countries for their successful handling of the pandemic, with Australia joining them in the top 10.
Hard-hit Britain and the United States languish near the bottom of the pile.
The Lowy Institute said its index, published on Thursday, excludes China, where the first cases were identified in December 2019, due to a lack of publicly available data.
Other countries in the top 10 are Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Latvia and Sri Lanka – all countries with relatively low reported cases and deaths in aggregate and per capita terms.
In total, 98 nations were evaluated in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19, using data available to January 9, 2021.
Fourteen-day rolling averages of new daily figures were calculated for confirmed cases, confirmed cases per million people, confirmed deaths, confirmed deaths per million people, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests, and tests per thousand people, the Lowy Institute said.
The report comes as world coronavirus cases surpass 100 million with the death toll exceeding two million.
The United States, with more than 25 million confirmed cases, ranked 94th, while India, with in excess of 11 million cases, was 86th.
Britain, with the highest number of deaths in Europe, stood at 66th.
The index showed countries in Asia-Pacific proved the most successful in containing the pandemic, while Europe and the United States were “quickly overwhelmed” by the rapid spread of COVID-19.
“Levels of economic development or differences in political systems between countries had less of an impact on outcomes than often assumed or publicised,” the Sydney-based Lowy Institute said in its analysis.
“In general, countries with smaller populations, cohesive societies, and capable institutions have a comparative advantage in dealing with a global crisis such as a pandemic.”