Claim: The Philippines has the lowest number of COVID-19 cases and fatalities in Asia.
Vince Dizon, the deputy chief implementer of the government’s COVID-19 response, said at a Malacañang press briefing on Thursday, June 25: “Dito po sa Asya ano, I think the Philippines has probably one of the lowest cases [of COVID-19] as well as one of the lowest deaths. Pero gaya ng sabi ni Spokesperson [Harry Roque], dito sa laban na COVID, walang magaling dito.”
(Here in Asia, I think the Philippines has probably one of the lowest cases [of COVID-19] as well as one of the lowest deaths. But like what Spokesperson [Harry Roque] said, in the fight against COVID, no one is an expert.)
In the same briefing, Dizon said the Philippines is doing much better compared to countries with better healthcare systems.
Roque, in this briefing and in past remarks to media, compared the Philippines to the United States and European countries where cases are in the hundreds of thousands.
The facts: According to data from Worldometer, the Philippines has 32,295 total cases of COVID-19, ranking us 15th highest out of a total 49 countries in Asia. We are 10th highest in Asia for the total number of COVID-19 deaths at 1,204. (READ: IN CHARTS: COVID-19 cases in the Philippines)
We are 25th highest in Asia when it comes to number of COVID-19 cases per one million population, with 295 cases per million people. We are ranked 18th highest in deaths per million population, with 11 COVID-19 deaths per million people.
Among the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Philippines has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases, according to data as of June 25 from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center. We have 22,435 active cases or 69.47% of 32,295.
Among ASEAN countries, the Philippines comes in second to Indonesia in terms of the number of COVID-19 deaths (1,204) and case fatality rate (3.73%). Indonesia has 2,573 COVID-19 deaths and a 5.25% case fatality rate.
When it comes to the number of cases per one million population, the Philippines comes in 3rd among ASEAN countries at 294.7 cases.
Malacañang and Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases officials have used Dizon’s and Roque’s messaging tactic many times – comparing the Philippines to the US and Europe while failing to mention countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Taiwan, and South Korea. – Pia Ranada and Vernise L Tantuco/Rappler.com
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