Malacañang claims dismal COVID-19 resilience rank due to importance on reopening

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·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A health worker places a new oxygen tank beside a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient admitted in the chapel of Quezon City General Hospital turned into a COVID-19 ward amid rising infections, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, August 20, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)
FILE PHOTO: A health worker places a new oxygen tank beside a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patient admitted in the chapel of Quezon City General Hospital turned into a COVID-19 ward amid rising infections, in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, August 20, 2021. (Photo: REUTERS/Eloisa Lopez)

Malacañang Palace claims that a lack of a country-specific gauge and its emphasis on reopening progress are to blame for the Philippines ranking dead last in the Bloomberg COVID-19 Resilience Ranking.

Bloomberg, which based its ranking on reopening progress, COVID-19 status, and quality of life placed the Philippines last among 53 nations in November.

"We acknowledge that the data provided by Bloomberg in its COVID-19 Resilience Ranking may be useful in evaluating our pandemic response. [But] we have to consider that the 53 countries in the report have different COVID-19 experiences and strategies. There is little consideration for country-specific COVID-19 context, which in our view is imperative to objectively assess how countries managed pandemic response," acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles was quoted as saying.

According to Nograles, the country's Alert Level System policy has reduced the number of active COVID-19 cases, with only 425 new COVID-19 cases reported last November 30 – the lowest number reported in 2021 – and a positivity rate of 2.1%, one of the lowest rates since testing data became available in April 2020 and well within the standard 5 percent set by the WHO.

Nograles went on to claim that there is no congestion in Philippine hospitals and that the case fatality rate remains below 30 percent.

The spokesperson also noted that the country's third-quarter economic growth of 7.1% surpassed expectations, as did the ongoing, three-day COVID-19 immunization, which is projected to immunize nine million people by the end of the day.

The Philippines also ranked last in the Bloomberg list last October.

Ana Catalina Paje is a development journalist passionate about grassroots communication geared towards genuine social change. She also writes about showbiz, lifestyle, and all things Pinoy pride. The views expressed are her own.

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