The spread of Covid-19 has been going on for almost four months now, according to the World Health Organization's timeline.
Having observed the responses of the affected countries, a preliminary conclusion can be drawn to say that countries like Germany, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand - who are dealing the crisis with extensive preparation and seriousness - are most likely to save more lives with a clear margin over other countries.
Meanwhile, countries like Italy, Spain, Iran, and USA, who handled the warning carelessly from the very beginning, now account for the bulk of the sufferers.
Before comparing between the two groups there should be a clear understanding of what is the "standard measure".
A group of researchers published an article titled "Mitigation strategies for pandemic Influenza A: Balancing conflicting policy objectives" in the journal named Public Library of Science (PLOS).
The article mentioned four very essential steps that a government should take to contain any flu pandemic. These are highly effective to mitigate the situation.
The steps include minimising the morbidity rate; controlling the situation in a way that does not exhaust the healthcare system; mobilising the economy on minimised level and waiting for an effective vaccine to fight against the virus.
If we take a closer look at the success stories we will see that countries who maintained these steps religiously, are close to the safety zone, while those who acted negligently fell prey to Covid-19.
The price of not apprehending the calamity
Italy and Iran - both countries became the epicentres of coronavirus in their respective continents. They had the most number of infections outside China, until the US became the epicentre.
The cases of these two countries are almost similar.
Both their governments ignored the warning of an epidemic and continued doing so even after discovering positive cases.
As a result, their reluctance to taking the hardline exhausted their entire healthcare system.
Both country's governments played extraordinarily irresponsible roles in tackling the crisis.
After a month of dealing with the virus, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said, "the epidemic of misleading information will do more damage to Italy than the risk of the virus itself, only 0.1% of the country is involved."
And despite resisting lockdown for a significant duration - both countries finally had to shut down all economic activities.
Besides, Iran had to deal with some other headaches like their current system, dominated by a religious governing body.
They ruthlessly prioritized economy and acting as the "the sanctuary of Shiites in the world" rather than scientifically approaching the crisis.
"Coronavirus is man-made by the United States, which is specifically built for Iran using the genetic data of Iranians." - said Ayatollah Khameni, one month after the virus outbreak in Iran.
Spain has one of the best public friendly healthcare systems in the world.
But it failed to assess the crisis even after witnessing the mountainous number of deaths in its neighbouring country. Spain failed to take this crisis seriously.
Moncho Iglesias, a Spanish Language teacher of the Institute of Modern Language (IML) at the University of Dhaka visited his country in mid-February. Later, he and his mother got infected with the novel coronavirus while he also lost his father to the infection.
"I knew coronavirus had hit the country. But it was impossible to apprehend that the situation was so serious. Football matches were taking place, people were having drinks at the bars just like regular times. It feels like everything happened overnight."
As for the last of the failures - USA, a single factor surpasses every other factor – "Donald Trump is their president." This one person has considerably worsened the situation more than anything.
His actions include ignoring the warning of intelligence agencies, continuously downplaying the destructive risk factors; he even tried to undermine scientific evidence, engaged in feud with the media and of course blamed everything in front of him for the crisis except taking responsibility for his own actions.
He first addressed the nation after underestimating the risk for two months saying, "Americans have to brace for a very, very painful two weeks."
In between Trump's denial and acceptance, the administration was dealing with chaos as some governors had to take responsibility for their own state without any assistance from the federal government.
While the USA has the most number of Covid-19 cases, Trump is now planning to reopen the economy by the end of this month.
It looks like that the situation will take many more turns under the Trump administration.
And the winners
While the fight with the pandemic is on the rise in India, one state has become the role model of all. Kerala became India's first state to report the outbreak and has the highest number of positive patients till now.
But, it managed to completely comply with the mitigation process and ensured maximum efficiency to save lives. However, the shocking factor is, Kerala managed to do all of these without launching massive testing as it is strictly controlled by the central administration.
The mystery is hidden inside the robust public health system and popularity of grassroots politics in Kerala.
Starting from the chief minister to the village counsels, everybody collaborated in building awareness, community outreach, rigorous contact tracing and mass quarantine programmes.
South Korea is an example of doing everything right with the help of science.
A perfect blend of good governance, AI technology and preemptive healthcare system lead them to flatten the curve of Covid-19 without putting any official lockdown in place.
They are the first country who went to human trials with the coronavirus vaccine, according to media reports.
Before the readers roll their eyes by seeing China's name in this list, they are nowhere near being regarded a winner.
They wrongfully hid the presence of a novel virus not just from the world but from its own citizens while neglecting the issue.
China's questionable activities led the virus to spread massively but when they finally did get a hold of this, they managed to win over the fight within months of lockdown.
China ignored all the precautionary measures that could save the lives of millions.
But they launched an almost industrial level prevention programme to contain further disaster.
In this position, if it was any other country, the situation might not have been controlled so swiftly.
What the Chinese government did was basically cover up its dirt of not paying heed to the warning.
China would have failed equally to manage it if they didn't have an inconceivable amount of infrastructural and technical support.
The fight against pandemic is not over. When countries like Bangladesh are still finding its route in the timeline, African region hasn't even started seeing the worst yet.
But no one has any chance to claim victory or immune to the disease because the characteristics of this virus is so unique and the effect is so widespread; it would be foolish to take any chances right now.