DOH asserts ‘improved’ pandemic response amid PH’s low COVID resilience score
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) maintained on Wednesday that the government’s COVID-19 response, including its vaccination drive, has already improved despite Bloomberg’s report showing that the Philippines ranked last among 53 countries in terms of pandemic resilience.
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire nevertheless said they are open to such analyses because it “gives us more direction in how we do our response.”
“Sa ngayon kapag tingnan natin, nakapag-improve naman na tayo (We have already improved). We can see that our vaccination coverage has tremendously improved from the time we started,” Vergeire said during a media briefing.
“Second, itong lessening of cases and deaths is not just unique for the country. All countries in the world are experiencing this cycle kung san tataas, bababa ang cases. These are all being experienced [in other countries] and we are trying to learn day by day because the situation is really evolving,” she added.
Vergeire noted that the government has shifted its policy from imposing strict community quarantines to implementing granular lockdowns in order to safely reopen the economy.
Based on Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking report, the Philippines ranked last among 53 countries with a score of 40.2. In its June report, the country was at the 52nd spot.
According to Bloomberg, indicators used in the report include vaccination coverage, the severity of lockdowns and restrictions, progress on restarting travel and easing border curbs, case fatality rate, and the overall mortality during the pandemic.
Other Southeast Asian countries that joined the Philippines at the bottom of the list are Indonesia with a score of 52.4, Thailand with 47.6, Malaysia with 44.1, and Vietnam with 43.7.
Meanwhile, European countries topped the ranking with Ireland getting a resilience score of 79.4, Spain with 78.2, the Netherlands with 76.4, Finland with 76.1, and Denmark with 75.3.
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