Australia the envy of the world?

By Dr Juergen Ude | February 13th 2021
Australia has prided itself as being the envy of the world in that we have done better than other countries. There is nothing wrong with being proud, but it must be based on facts. The problem is that by broadcasting how great a country performed, other countries copy the response and hurt their people unnecessarily if the response does not work as well as believed.

Being the envy of the world first needs defining who is meant by Australia. Is it the people, or Australian Leaders and advisers?

If it is the people, then this may not be true. Australians, especially Victorians have carried the cost of whatever has made Australia the envy. Victorians had the longest draconian lockdown and are at the end of their tether having again been placed under lockdown in February 2021, even if just for one week. One week may seem little but any loss of freedom causes mental distress, not knowing when this will stop.

Australians are placed under lockdown with only two cases. Other countries need thousands. Western Australia went into Lockdown based, on one case assumed to be the Kent virus because it believed in models, not hard data. The hard data contradicts the model determined contagiousness.

Victoria went in Lockdown based on 2 cases stemming for the second time from Quarantine mismanagement. Both Australia and Victoria implemented lockdown when cases were already coming down.

If we are the envy of the world because of successful management then we need to look at some facts.

Australia went into lockdown after its peak. That is not successful management.

As at 31st 31st August 2020, 35% of the world’s countries had a lower number of cases per million than Australia. This included Egypt, Indonesia (just), Sri Lanka, Yemen and countries that did much less to mitigate the virus, such as Japan.

As at 31st August 2020 39% of countries had lower reported deaths per million than Australia. This included Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.

No comparison is made after that date because Australia is an isolated Island, which has no neighbouring countries, such as Asia, Europe and America which makes effective border control possible. Hence, there was less chance of further externally caused infections.

A study reported on 28th January 2021 reported that Australia ranked 8th in the world according to a study which used 14 day moving averages to base their rankings.

Australia’s COVID response ranked eighth best in the world, behind Rwanda and Iceland

Researchers used six key indicators over 14-day rolling averages on which to base their rankings. These were: They were confirmed cases, confirmed deaths, confirmed cases per million people, confirmed deaths per million people, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests and tests per thousand people.

We question the science behind this. It makes no sense to use confirmed cases and deaths without taking population size into account. Australia with its small population will have low cases and deaths. It makes no sense to base performance on test numbers performed. Taiwan who has hardly any cases had low test numbers. Testing is not a criterion for performance.

Performance must be based on prevalence not even deaths because reported deaths are unscientifically determined and excess deaths are affected by too many other factors, which has nothing to do with responsiveness. Performance must also consider the cost. Is it enviable to obtain zero prevalence at the cost of hurting the population?


Dr Juergen Ude has a certificate in applied chemistry, a degree in applied science majoring in statistics and operations research as top student, a masters in economics with high distinctions in every subject, and a PhD in computer modelling and algorithms. He has lectured at Monash University on subjects of data analysis, computer modelling, and quality & reliability.

Prior to founding his own company (Qtech International Pty Ltd), Dr Ude worked as a statistician and operations researcher for 18 years in management roles having saved employers millions of dollars through his AI and ML algorithms. Through Qtech International, Dr Ude has developed data analysis solutions in over 40 countries for leading corporations such as Alcoa, Black and Decker, Coca-Cola Amatil, US Vision and many more. Additionally he has developed campaign analysis software for politicians.

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