The Philippines ranked lowest in Nikkei Asia’s pandemic recovery rankings for September, which evaluates 121 countries worldwide in terms of infection management, vaccine rollout, and social mobility.
In a report released on Wednesday, October 6, the financial news magazine gave the Philippines a score of 30.5, placing it at the 121st place.
Meanwhile, the Southeast Asian countries with better rankings are Indonesia (54th), Singapore (70th), Cambodia (76th), Malaysia (102nd), Myanmar (105th), and Thailand (109th).
The index was measured based on the following factors, with each subcategory worth 10 points for a total of 90:
- Infection management:
- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 versus peak case count;
- Confirmed cases per capita;
- Tests per case.
- Vaccine rollouts:
- Total vaccine doses given per capita;
- New vaccine doses given per capita;
- Share of people who have been fully vaccinated.
- Community mobility;
- Oxford stringency index;
- Flight activities.
The Philippines previous rankings on the index were 108th in July and 106th in August.
The Nikkei report added the Philippines still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world as only 30% of its population of 110 million have been fully vaccinated as of September 30, noting it was “low even among ASEAN countries.”
The Nikkei pandemic ranking comes after the Philippines also took last spot in Bloomberg’s COVID-19 resilience rankings for September, making it the “worst place to be in” during the pandemic.
Overall, European country Malta placed the highest with a score of 73.
Important factor: period of surge
In a press briefing on Thursday, October 7, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that they analyzed the process and metrics used in the report in which they found that it used a specific time period.
“Lahat po ng bansa sa buong mundo ay may kaniya kaniyang period kung kailan tumaas ang kanilang kaso dahil sa Delta variant,” she said, noting that the countries that were compared to the Philippines had already reached their Delta surge before the report was made.
(Every country in the world has their own period in which their infection is rising due to the Delta variant.)
“Ang kanila pong time period ng kanilang pag a-analyze was September. During this time in September, dito po talaga tumaas aang kaso natin sa ating bansa,” Vergeire added.
(The time period they used in their analysis was September. During this time in September, it was the time that we saw increase in cases in the country.)
On September 11, the Philippines saw its highest single-day COVID-19 tally since the pandemic began in March 2020 at 26,303.
As for vaccination, Vergeire acknowledged the low inoculation rate due to “erratic” vaccine supply.
“Naging erratic rin po siya ngayong September because of supplies but tiningnan natin ang access na naapektuhan rin naman dahil sa pagtaas ng kaso,” she added.
(The supply of vaccine was erratic in September but we saw the access was also affected due to a rise in cases.)
As of October 6, the Philippines has 2,662,917 cases of COVID-19, with 38,828 deaths and 2,471,282 recoveries. Of the total, 112,807 are active or currently sick. – Rappler.com