Government Responses to COVID-19: A Comparative Analysis of Visegrad Countries
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to compare government responses and the challenges faced by public authorities in the Visegrad/V4 countries during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Design/Methodology/Approach: The study is based on a comparative analysis method. In this study, we analysed government responses through literature review and data obtained from various databases. The data used in the study were collected from ourworldindata.org, OECD, WHO, World Bank, Eurostat databases, CoronaNET dataset and Covid-19 Government Response Tracker.
Findings: The Visegrad countries did well during the initial phase of the Covid-19 pandemic. Compared to many other countries in Europe or in the world, they had less cases and lower death rates. What made them successful was timely and decisive reactions and harsh measures to curb Covid-19. They all implemented Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions strictly. Mandatory mask wearing, trust in the government and people’s tendency to obey the rules all helped V4 members in the fight against Covid-19. However, in two countries (Poland and Hungary) of the V4 Group, democracy was in decline during the outbreak.
Practical Implications: The study shows that pandemics spread rapidly and affect many countries within a short time. They have a significant impact on public health, the economy, and social and political structures of the countries. In order to reduce or prevent their effects, the governments must provide a timely response. Timing is a key success factor in the fight against the pandemics and helps minimise the consequences thereof.
Originality/Value: The study aims to contribute a detailed and comparative analysis of government responses and challenges of V4 countries in the fight against Covid-19 in the initial stage of the outbreak.
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