Eastern promise: how Asian countries are outperforming the West on Covid-19

Why have European countries and officials in public health and infection control been outclassed by their Asian counterparts?

A police sanitation team spraying disinfectant on a bridge as a preventive measure against coronavirus in Bozhou, in China’s eastern Anhui province PIcture: Getty

Not a single nursing home resident has died of Covid-19 in Hong Kong. In Ireland, almost 700 nursing home residents have. According to Hong Kong’s Social Welfare Department, there were 33,555 residents living in nursing homes in Hong Kong at the end of March. In Ireland, there are about 28,000.

Hong Kong’s figures are impressive, but many other Asian countries have recorded far fewer infections of healthcare staff and older people than we have in ...