PH climbs to 33rd spot in COVID management | Inquirer News

PH climbs to 33rd spot in COVID management

By: - Reporter / @santostinaINQ
/ 05:45 AM June 06, 2022
Man on motorbike gets inoculated at Vaccine Express. STORY: PH climbs to 33rd spot in COVID management

Health workers inoculate against COVID-19 at the Vaccine Express, a drive-thru program by the Office of the Vice President and Manila at the CCP Complex on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (File Photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines has climbed to the 33rd spot in Nikkei Asia’s latest COVID-19 Recovery Index, which ranks over 120 countries based on infection management, vaccine rollouts, and social mobility.

“Vietnam and the Philippines logged their best performances in Nikkei’s COVID-19 Recovery Index for May, as both countries managed to ease restrictions while keeping infections low,” the Tokyo-based news magazine said in its May 31 report released on Friday.


As of Nov. 30 last year, the Philippines was in 57th place although only a few months before, or as of Sept. 30, it was dead last or in 121st place.

Closer to recovery

“The higher the ranking, the closer a place is to recovery, characterized by lower infection and death rates, better inoculation coverage, as well as fewer movement restrictions,” the report said.


It noted the consistent decline in new infections in the country, with low to no confirmed deaths in recent weeks.

“[Daily] cases dropped to below 200 in the past week, with no confirmed deaths reported. The decline of infections helped the country’s move up 40 spots in the ranking, to 33rd,” it said.

The Philippines is now ahead of over 80 other countries, including Switzerland (38), Israel (44), Japan (53), United Kingdom (58), Canada (60), Australia and Hong Kong (71), New Zealand (75), Singapore (79), the United States (89) and China (93).

Nikkei Asia noted that the country’s borders have been opened to fully vaccinated international tourists for four months now, with tens of thousands of tourists arriving daily.

“Domestically, business has largely resumed and the government is encouraging all schools to hold face-to-face classes again this month,” it added.

Marathon more than sprint

Nikkei Asia said its data was sourced from Our World in Data, Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, Cirium, and Nikkei Asia research.

The latest ranking no longer measures testing as the indicator makes for an unfair comparison across countries due to area-specific and calibrated testing and surveillance policies.


The country’s improved standing in the ranking was welcomed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who said the “remarkable recovery reported by independent external observers [was] being balanced by safety protocols managed by the Department of Health and our partners.”

In a statement, Duque also credited the health department’s BIDA campaign and the Prevent, Detect, Isolation, Treat, Reintegration strategy while acknowledging the help provided by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and Philippine Genome Center in detecting, reporting, and isolating any new COVID-19 subvariants such as Omicron BA 2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5.

“The [Department of Health] has always been aware that the COVID-19 pandemic response is more [of a] marathon than [a] sprint. We are carefully pacing ourselves using the whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach led by President Duterte,” he said.

“As the current administration ends, we are confident that the next administration and its incoming secretary of health will continue or even improve our march to recovery in the new normal,” he added.


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TAGS: COVID-19 recovery index, Francisco Duque III, Nikkei Asia, PH COVID management
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