The purpose of this paper was to compare the relative efficiency of COVID-19 transmission mitigation among 23 selected countries, including 19 countries in the G20, two heavily infected countries (Iran and Spain), and two highly populous countries (Pakistan and Nigeria). The mitigation efficiency for each country was evaluated at each stage by using data envelopment analysis (DEA) tools and changes in mitigation efficiency were analyzed across stages. Pearson correlation tests were conducted between each change to examine the impact of efficiency ranks in the previous stage on subsequent stages. An indicator was developed to judge epidemic stability and was applied to practical cases involving lifting travel restrictions and restarting the economy in some countries. The results showed that Korea and Australia performed with the highest efficiency in preventing the diffusion of COVID-19 for the whole period covering 105 days since the first confirmed case, while the USA ranked at the bottom. China, Japan, Korea, and Australia were judged to have recovered from the attack of COVID-19 due to higher epidemic stability.
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