PH ranks 79th in COVID-19 response among 98 countries — Aussie think tank | Inquirer News
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PH ranks 79th in COVID-19 response among 98 countries — Aussie think tank

/ 11:21 PM January 28, 2021
COVID-19 philippines

FILE PHOTO: A healthcare worker performs a swab test to a vendors at Pritil Public Market amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tondo, Manila, Philippines, October 8, 2020. REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked 79th place out of 98 countries who were rated for their performance in relation to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a study by an Australian think-tank group showed.

According to Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index posted on Thursday, the Philippines ended up with an average score of 30.6, just behind Spain which had a score of 31.2, and Italy, which ranked 59th with a score of 40.4, two of the worst-hit European countries.

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In comparison, top performers New Zealand, Vietnam, and Taiwan had scores of 94.4, 90.8, and 86.4, respectively.

Lowy Institute said that the scores were based on how countries managed the pandemic which has altered normal life, by accumulating figures including confirmed cases, deaths, cases and deaths per million, confirmed cases in proportion to tests, and tests per thousands — that came in 36 weeks before January 9.

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“Fewer reported cases and deaths, both in aggregate and per capita terms, point towards a better response to the virus. More tests conducted on a per capita basis reveal a more accurate picture of the extent of the pandemic at the national level. Lower rates of positive tests, meanwhile, indicate greater degrees of control over the transmission of COVID-19,” Lowy Institute said.

“Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide with more than 90 million confirmed cases across 190 countries and two million deaths as of mid-January 2021. For nearly a year, governments and societies have been turned inwards to fight an invisible enemy, exposing competing structures, vulnerabilities, and political priorities,” the institute said.

“An average across those indicators was then calculated for individual countries in each period and normalized to produce a score from 0 (worst performing) to 100 (best performing). Collectively, these indicators point to how well or poorly countries have managed the pandemic in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19,” it added.

Within the Southeast Asian region, the Philippines only bested Indonesia, which ranked 85th, with a 24.7 score.  However, the country was below Myanmar (24th, 62.3), Malaysia (16th, 71.0), Singapore (13th, 74.9), Thailand (4th, 84.2) and Vietnam (2nd, 90.8).

In measuring the effectiveness of countries’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of criteria were relevant indicators.

“Fewer reported cases and deaths, both in aggregate and per capita terms, point towards a better response to the virus. More tests conducted on a per capita basis reveal a more accurate picture of the extent of the pandemic at the national level. Lower rates of positive tests, meanwhile, indicate greater degrees of control over the transmission of COVID-19,” Lowy Institute said.

“Collectively, these indicators point to how well or poorly countries have managed the pandemic. An average of the rankings across the six indicators was normalized for each country to produce a score between 0 (worst performing) and 100 (best performing) on any given day in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19,” it added.

Earlier, the Philippine Statistics Authority announced that the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) contracted, shrinking by negative 9.5 percent on a year-on-year basis.  This was the worst figure recorded since 1946, or after the end of the Second World War.

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The contraction is attributed to strict lockdown measures placed to avoid further transmissions, although it left businesses paralyzed and workers — especially those who rely on daily earnings — without any solid source of income.

The Department of Health also said in its daily update on Thursday that the country now has a total of 518,407 confirmed COVID-19 cases — of which 32,384 are patients with active cases, while 475,542 have recovered and 10,481 have died.

This is not the first time that the Philippines ended up at the lower half of countries surveyed and ranked according to its pandemic response. In September 2020, The Lancet, an international medical journal, said that the Philippines is 66th out of 91 countries in terms of how well governments responded to the health crisis.

Lowy Institute clarified that they are a “non-partisan international policy think tank,” with a goal of providing an explanation to various worldwide trends like the COVID-19 pandemic.

EDV

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TAGS: COVID-19, COVID-19 pandemic, COVID-19 response, economic contraction, general community quarantine, Lowy Institute, Philippine news updates, Philippines ranking
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