A new study by an Australian think tank has ranked Ireland's COVID-19 response as the 43rd-best in the world, 23 places above the UK in 66th and 51 places above the United States in 94th. 

The Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think tank, ranked almost 100 countries based on six criteria, including confirmed cases, deaths, confirmed cases per million, deaths per million, and tests per thousand people.

"Collectively, these indicators point to how well or poorly countries have managed the pandemic in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19," the Lowy Institute said in its report.

The study found that New Zealand's coronavirus response was the best in the world, while Brazil finished in last place in 98th. 

More than 9 million cases of the virus have diagnosed in Brazil as of January 27, while just over 220,000 people have died from the virus. Brazil's testing per capita also ranks among the worst in the world and the country has carried out just 28 million tests despite boasting a population of more than 200 million. 

In contrast, Russia, which has a population of 145 million, has carried out more than 100 million tests, while the USA has carried out 90 million tests among its 330 million people. 

Testing was America's only source of redemption in the study and proved to be the sole reason why it didn't place any lower. Otherwise, America's COVID-19 response makes for grim reading. 

There have been more than 26 million confirmed cases of the virus in the United States - one-quarter of the worldwide total - while America's death toll now stands at 440,000 - one-fifth of the global death toll. 

America has the seventh-most cases per capita and the 11th-highest death rate per capita. Most of the countries that ranked above America had a population of less than one million. 

Only Iran, Colombia, Mexico and Brazil place below America in the study, while China was omitted from the study due to a lack of publicly available data on testing. 

New Zealand, on the other hand, topped the list thanks to its exceptional COVID-19 response. The country has reported just 25 coronavirus deaths throughout the pandemic, while there have been just 2,200 cases of the virus in the last 12 months. New Zealand has also carried out more than 1.5 million coronavirus tests; roughly 30% of its population.  

Meanwhile, Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia, and Sri Lanka made up the top ten for their coronavirus response.

The study found that countries with a population of less than 10 million generally fared better than their larger counterparts.

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