Concerns about the still low rates of COVID-19 testing and vaccination in the country have been raised online following the low ranking of the Philippines in Bloomberg’s Pandemic Resilience Report.
The Philippines ranked last out of 53 countries for the second consecutive month in a study based on the containment of the virus and the reopening of the economy.
Bloomberg COVID Resilience Ranking is a monthly report that assesses 53 countries affected by the pandemic based on 12 data points that included the country’s reopening progress, vaccination rate and COVID-19 status.
The country also ranked 53rd in September when daily COVID-19 infections in the country reached record levels.
This time Vietnam stood next to the Philippines in 52nd place. Other Southeast Asian neighbors also ranked low on the list.
The countries with the lowest Bloomberg resilience scores are:
- Romania – 49.5
- Malaysia – 48.9
- Thailand – 46.8
- Vietnam – 44
- Philippines – 40.5
In the article, Bloomberg cited immunization coverage in the Philippines as one of the factors that contributed to its low ranking.
While other Southeast Asian countries also continue to rank low among the 53 economies tracked, the Philippines ranks among the worst in immunization coverage, with only 26% of the population covered in the middle. challenges in getting vaccines to areas outside of major cities, âthe article says.
He also noted that while the government has allowed a gradual reopening of businesses, the Philippines is still behind Thailand and Indonesia.
âThe capital Manila has allowed more businesses to reopen their doors, including gymnasiums and cinemas, but it still lags behind neighbors like Thailand and Indonesia who are back to welcome the tourists, âBloomberg said.
Still slow vaccine rollout, low testing rates
Some Filipinos have also criticized the government for the slow rollout of COVID-19 jabs in areas outside of Metro Manila, costly COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and other pandemic response efforts .
“More sinasabi testing on LIBRE dapat, positivity rate less than 5 percent, effective contact tracing, effective vaccine rollout, expansion of health care facilities tiyak aangat tayo in babalik tayo sa old normal ranking! ” a Twitter user noted.
âTayo nga lang bansa na pinakamahabang lockdown at nag-iisang naka face shield still mataas ang kaso,â wrote another single user.
Data analyst Edson Guido also shared the same view that the country should step up its vaccination efforts.
Guido shared a list of Bloomberg scores of Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, in terms of immunization coverage.
The Philippines has vaccinated only 26% of its population.
He also shared a screenshot of Bloomberg’s monthly rankings where the country stands.
WATCH: Philippines ranked last for 2nd consecutive month in latest Bloomberg Covid Resilience Ranking pic.twitter.com/kavJkEIJS7
– Edson C. Guido (@EdsonCGuido) October 27, 2021
The World Health Organization-Philippines previously revealed that 3.4 million elderly people in the country, who are believed to be in priority groups, have yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccine.
READ: 3.4 million Filipino seniors not yet vaccinated, according to WHO-Philippines
Similar to Bloomberg’s rating, the Reuters COVID-19 tracker also showed that the country has so far inoculated only 26.3% of its population.
Well done for the decrease in cases
Despite the low ranking, Bloomberg acknowledged the decrease in COVID-19 cases in the country.
He noted that this was a step towards better management of the pandemic and possibly more reopening in the future.
âThe percentage of people testing positive for the virus has dropped significantly from almost one in three in September to around 12%, indicating that the Philippines is in better control of its epidemic than before and catching cases. This could pave the way for more reopening in the future, âthe article said.
An official of the Ministry of the Interior and Local Authorities, however, criticized these findings, citing them as unfair and biased towards Western countries.
âWe have just launched our universal healthcare system. Di talaga tayo tataas d’yan, we are a developing countryâ¦ and the quality of life is also taken into account. In my opinion, this is really a biased survey towards Western countries, âDILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said in an interview with ANC Headstart.