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COVID19 City Safety Ranking Q1/2021:

Benchmarking of Municipal Pandemic Response (Vaccines, Economy, Prevention, Governance, Safety)


Based on data collected until 31 March 2021

The present special analytical case study is produced by Deep Knowledge Group’s DeepTech-focused analytical subsidiary specializing in the production of advanced analytics using sophisticated technology to deliver insightful market intelligence and pragmatic forecasting.


The report's primary goal is to analyze regional response to pandemics on a municipal (e.g., city) level. This publication is the first iteration of an ongoing and periodically-updated series of reports dedicated to Municipal COVID-19 Analytics. The analysis featured in this first iteration of the series utilizes 1,300 data points in total, applying an analytical framework consisting of 50 parameters classified into 5 qualitatively distinct categories (Economy Resilience, Government Efficiency, Healthcare Management, Quarantine Efficiency, Vaccination Rate) to a total of 25 cities and municipalities globally.


The present special analytical case study considers the parameters grouped within the ‘Economic Resilience’ and ‘Vaccination Rate’ component of the analytical framework to be of primary importance, as an increasing number of municipal economies seek to achieve economic stability and resilience without sacrificing public safety. 


Meanwhile, parameters grouped within the ‘Government and Quarantine Efficiency’ component of the analytical framework have been allocated the second-highest weighting (or importance factor) in the analysis, as they likewise play a critical role in the current stage of the pandemic’s evolution, levels of public trust in government, and the ability for governments to maintain public trust, is one of the most critical factors at this particular stage of the ongoing evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


Lastly, the parameters grouped within the ‘Healthcare Management’ component of the analytical framework have been assigned the fourth-largest importance factor, on the basis that healthcare efficiency was most important in the initial phase of the pandemic,  but has since become less of a deciding factor in terms of regional safety, given that the overall situation in healthcare industries has stabilized considerably, with cities having reallocated resources to support healthcare systems by this point. 









Data Points

COVID-19 Municipal Pandemic Response: 25 Cities

Rankings of Top-25 Cities According to

Healthcare Parameters 

Cities ranked by 

government efficiency

As can be seen from this chart, Singapore, Amsterdam, Ottawa and Sydney have the highest scores for government efficiency. Due to rapid globalization processes, it is critical for megalopolises such as these to build strong governance with a clear vision of future development. Security, public trust and innovations are keys to being efficient as a municipality. ​
Cities are evolving through constant interaction between community and business. E-governance development, as well as the implementation of AI and Machine Learning solutions, help to solve dozens of modern urban challenges such as fast provision of services, informing the population and preventing misinformation during emergency situations, enhancing surveillance during a public health emergency, and others. Meanwhile, it is critical for authorities to demonstrate leadership by decisive and quick action in the face of crises. The functioning of government must be based on transparency and effective yet honest publicity. Thus, the top four cities shown in this graph meet the established criteria for public administration efficiency.

Cities ranked by 

economy resilience

The global economy is still reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting collapse of international trade. While it is generally apparent that export-oriented economies are especially vulnerable to economically detrimental effects of pandemics, there are notable exceptions. Zurich, Seoul and Berlin are showing exceptional resilience during one of the hardest years the world economy has seen in years, even as the global recession is affecting exports.
The prompt and effective reaction of authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 limited the impact of the pandemic on the economy. Strong fiscal and monetary policy measures were quickly implemented to support households and businesses. Economic rescue packages were developed to support citizens as well as SMEs. Governments have passed economic stimulus measures that have helped to stop mass business bankruptcy and accompanying macroeconomic losses. As a result, the economies of Zurich, Seoul and Berlin contracted much less than other economies in 2020.


Cities ranked by 

healthcare management

The top five cities for healthcare management are Oslo, Tokyo, Auckland, Hong Kong and Taipei. One of the factors underlying the leading positions of these cities is the general trend of the active introduction of online diagnostic tools, as well as artificial intelligence technologies in medical institutions, combined with the joint actions of researchers and the health system. To combat the spread of covid-19, three measures were identified and considered: contact tracing, testing and quarantine, or isolation treatment. Effective implementation of these measures is underpinned by effective governance and strong public health infrastructure.


Good public health quarantine measures led these cities to have one of the lowest levels of COVID-19 related mortality and morbidity among all industrialized nations. Also, it was found that the major reasons why the mortality rate, particularly in the leading cities, was significantly lower is the high number of Covid-tests performed.

Cities ranked by 

quarantine efficiency

Stringent Covid-19 regulations have brought Auckland, Sydney, Beijing to the top of the ranking. Their response to the pandemic was quite strict, and contributed to a comparatively low number of cases, and prevented uncontrolled disease outbreak. While most countries have taken measures to contain the infection, their governments aim at the suppression of the disease, continually trying to drive community transmission to zero but being prepared for new outbreaks to possibly occur. These cities moved very quickly to stop transmission, while others delayed their response and that meant they lost control.
To achieve this, management has developed a risk communication scheme based on a well-functioning data ecosystem that helps understand outbreaks and their transmission through extensive testing and contact tracing. This approach has been widely praised internationally for its quick and tough action over the virus.

Cities ranked by 

vaccination rate

Tel Aviv-Jaffa and Abu Dhabi are the unquestionable leaders in the vaccination race. The start of mass vaccination in Israel has been impressive: more than 10% of the population received their first dose less than two weeks after the start of the national vaccination campaign. By comparison, it took the US 57 days to reach the same mark, the UK 45 days, and the European Union still has not reached that mark. Today Israel is the world leader in vaccinations per capita: 108 doses for every 100 people. To achieve this goal, Israeli public health officials have worked to address two main problems: hesitancy about vaccinations among these and other groups, and innovative solutions to an inability to reach some residents who live in remote areas with limited access to vaccination facilities and reliable information.
Abu Dhabi is ranked second behind Tel Aviv-Jaffa in terms of vaccination. It has a well-developed vaccination strategy that emphasizes the importance of increasing and maintaining public confidence in vaccines, expanding vaccination options from home vaccination to drive through vaccination, and having the largest number of available vaccines to choose from.
Overall, the countries with the most successful vaccinations appear to have adopted several general strategies. Both the UAE and Israel, which currently top the global vaccination tables, have benefited from the effectiveness of advanced and digitized health systems. They also followed a more ambitious procurement policy, pre-ordering doses as soon as they are deemed safe.

Data on World Map


Healthcare systems in the majority of the reviewed cities and countries have stabilized, compared with April 2020. The number of cases is still quite big, however healthcare systems are prepared.


The majority of cities, especially Western, are facing some form of uprising against quarantine / lockdown measures imposed by national or local governments.


Competition among cities in terms of access to vaccines (as well as other, related geopolitical factors) reduces equality in the vaccination process among cities and countries overall. The vaccination process is still in its beginning stage. Cities are facing some problems with managing the process and trying to increase the efficiency of the vaccination process. 


One more issue related to the vaccination is the overall lack of trust in vaccines. This significantly decreases the velocity of the process.


The framework consists of 5 top-level qualitative metric categories (Economy Resilience, Government Efficiency, Healthcare Management, Quarantine Efficiency, Vaccination Rate). Each category has its own weight, chosen by Deep Knowledge Group analysts in consultation with expert opinion.

  • Economy Resilience - 0.21

  • Government Efficiency - 0.20

  • Healthcare Management - 0.18

  • Quarantine Efficiency - 0.20

  • Vaccination Rate - 0.21

Each top-level qualitative metric category consists of a matrix of quantitative or qualitative parameters, relating to the specific topic, analytical focus and end-point of their parent indicator. Quantitative parameters are numeric and are obtained from a variety of reputable, publicly available sources of data. Qualitative parameters are binary, and regions are assigned either a 1 or a 0, which represent an answer to a specific yes/no question.

In order to obtain readily understandable and consistent final scores, individual scores among parameters are normalized by subjecting the average of parameters to a multiplication factor corresponding to the weight (or importance factor) of their parent category, in order to obtain a final parameter consisting of the average of all categories multiplied by their respective weights.
The index utilizes a combination of publicly available databases (including but not limited to indexes and sources of regional statistics), as well as manually-curated and researched quantitative and qualitative data obtained by manual searches conducted by Deep Knowledge Group analysts using search engines, media and governmental reports, and the use of expert opinions and consultations in cases where data was not available.
In utilizing three qualitatively distinct sources of data, Deep Knowledge Group analysts have attempted to overcome barriers in conducting a robust and comprehensive yet reliable and methodologically-rigorous analysis by utilizing the largest and most reputable databases (typically constructed and maintained by an unbiased international group or foundation) where possible, by consulting region-specific resources in cases where the use of open-source international databases was not possible, and by utilizing expert opinion in all cases where publicly-accessible regional and/or international sources of data were unavailable.
By utilizing this approach, the present analysis seeks to establish an optimal balance between using maximally transparent and reliable sources of data and in all cases where this is not possible, utilizing data which are only obtainable from expert consultation.

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