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Philippines second to last in pandemic response

THE PHILIPPINES ranked 52nd out of 53 countries in terms of pandemic response, according to Bloomberg’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resilience ranking, where the government scored poorly in vaccine rollout, among other things.

The country got a score of 45.3, ahead of Argentina, which ranked last on the list with a score of 37.

The Philippines, India and some Latin American countries ranked lowest “amid a perfect storm of variant-driven outbreaks, slow vaccination and global isolation,” according to the report.

The Philippines was behind Malaysia (46.6), India (47.7), Indonesia (48.2), Colombia (48.6), Pakistan (50.7), Bangladesh (51.3), Peru (51.4), and Taiwan (52.1).

The 10 countries that received highest scores were the United States (76), New Zealand (73.7), Switzerland (72.9), Israel (72.9), France (72.8), Spain (72), Australia (70.1), Mainland China (69.9), the United Kingdom (68.7) and South Korea (68.6).

The study was based on several indicators, including the percentage of people who have been vaccinated, lockdown severity, flight capacity, vaccinated travel routes, monthly cases per 100,000 population, infection and death rates.

Mobility, 2021 economic growth forecast, universal healthcare coverage and human development index were also used as indicators.

The US ranking “reflects a best-case scenario of high vaccinations, a waning outbreak, flight capacity nearing full recovery and few travel curbs on vaccinated people, it said.

Mr. Duterte earlier ordered state media to report that the country had been performing better than other countries in its coronavirus pandemic response.

His spokesman Herminio L. Roque, Jr. said the country was slowly recovering from the virus. “Our economic team is confident that we are slowly recovering and will recover fully,” he told a televised news briefing in Filipino on Wednesday.

The government had given out more than 10 million coronavirus vaccine doses as of June 27, 7.5 million of which were first shots.

More than 1.1 million health workers, 672,602 seniors, 710,846 seriously ill people and 12,340 essential workers have been fully vaccinated.

The Philippines aims to inoculate at least 500,000 people daily in Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao to achieve herd immunity by Nov. 27.

The Department of Health (DoH) reported 4,509 coronavirus infections on Wednesday, bringing the total to 1.4 million.

The death toll rose by 105 to 24,662, while recoveries increased by 5,839 to 1.3 million, it said in a bulletin.

There were 48,649 active cases, 1.5% of which were critical, 90.6% were mild, 4.1% did not show symptoms, 2.2% were severe and 1.63% were moderate.

The agency said seven duplicates had been removed from the tally, five of which were tagged as recoveries. A patient tagged as recovered was removed from the tally after he was found to be negative.

Forty-nine cases tagged as recoveries were reclassified as deaths. Six laboratories failed to submit data on June 28, the agency said.

About 14 million Filipinos have been tested for the coronavirus as of June 28, according to DoH’s tracker website.

The coronavirus has sickened about 182.6 million and killed almost four million people worldwide, according to the Worldometers website, citing various sources including data from the World Health Organization.

About 167.2 million people have recovered, it said. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza and Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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