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New Zealand’s successful fight against Covid-19 made Auckland the most liveable city of 2021

While Auckland sits on top of the list, Austria's Vienna, number one in both 2018 and 2019, has completely dropped out of the top 10 after being heavily affected by Covid, and now ranks 12.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
June 9, 2021 1:36:23 pm
Auckland rose to the top of the ranking owing to its successful approach in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The handling of the Covid-19 crisis seems to be one of the most important factors that dominated while formulating the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index of 140 cities around the world.

New Zealand has been significantly praised for its handling of the crisis, so it’s no surprise that one of its cities has been named the world’s most livable city for 2021. While Auckland sits on top of the list, Austria’s Vienna, number one in both 2018 and 2019, has completely dropped out of the top 10 after being heavily affected by Covid, and now ranks 12.

The index takes into account more than 30 qualitative and quantitative factors spanning five broad categories: stability (25%), healthcare (20%), culture and environment (25%), education (10%), and infrastructure (20%).

Auckland rose to the top of the ranking owing to its successful approach in containing the Covid-19 pandemic, which allowed its society to remain open and the city to score strongly on a number of metrics including education, culture and environment. The cities that have risen to the top of the rankings this year are largely the ones that have taken stringent measures to contain the pandemic.

New Zealand had successfully eliminated Covid 19 in the country by shutting its border in mid-March 2020, introducing compulsory quarantine for all returnees, and instituting a series of lockdowns to stamp out existing clusters.

At the heart of New Zealand’s effort to track and understand Covid cases is sequencing the genome of every positive case that enters the country. Very few other places are even attempting that.

Also, when the island nation brought in strict guideline norms, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had said that these were the strictest regulations in the world, for which she would “make no apologies”.

On the other hand, however, most European cities saw a drop in their rankings as overall healthcare scores have plummeted due to the pandemic.

In Austria, for example, the health minister himself had resigned saying he was overworked and exhausted managing the coronavirus crisis.

“I’ve decided to resign from my job,” Rudolf Anschober, who has faced death threats over the government’s handling of the crisis. Warning that the pandemic should not be underestimated, he had added, “We are not out of the woods yet.”

The nation, with around 9 million people, has recorded more than 581,000 cases with more than 9,700 deaths. Its capital Vienna and two other adjacent provinces have been under a fresh lockdown since early April as intensive care units have been filling up rapidly.

As such, the way in which each city handled the pandemic, how quickly vaccines were rolled out and the level of border restrictions put in place has led to major changes in the rankings.

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