MANILA — Once again, the Philippines placed last in an international list that measures a country’s resilience to the disruptions of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Index for January 2022, the Philippines was 53rd in a list of 53 nations ranked according to how effectively they are handling the virus.
The international firm dubbed the latest list as "The Best and Worst Places to Be as We Learn to Live With Covid."
It noted the Philippines has held the monthly index's bottom position three of the five previous months. The country placed 50th last December.
"Difficulties administering vaccines in remote areas continue to be a vulnerability as the country sees an omicron surge worse than other Southeast Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand," it noted.
Bloomberg said many developing countries, including the Philippines, are still behind on vaccination not only because of lack of supplies but also of other local concerns.
"Governments from the Philippines to Nigeria are struggling to administer them due to logistical issues. Poor health infrastructure, lack of trained staff, and difficulties accessing rural populations are slowing rollouts in poorer places," it said.
According to Bloomberg, its COVID Resilience Index depicts how the world’s largest 53 economies are responding to the pandemic, through 12 data indicators that include "virus containment, quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and progress toward restarting travel."
The list was topped by the United Arab Emirates once again after placing first in November.
In the top five are Saudi Arabia, Finland, Turkey and Singapore while the bottom five are Argentina, Russia, Romania, Vietnam, and the Philippines.
Officials leading the Philippines' COVID-19 response have yet to make a statement on the latest COVID Resilience Index.
Filipino officials criticized Bloomberg's index after it placed the Philippines last in November. According to vaccine czar Sec. Carlito Galvez, the international data and media outlet might be doing something wrong in measuring the country's resilience.
As of Wednesday, nearly 57.3 million individuals have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, data gathered by the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group showed.
Almost 6.3 million others already have received booster shots.
The Philippines, which has been a consistent bottom-dweller in international rankings of coronavirus response, logged 18,191 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday. This raised its total infections to 3,493,447, of which 226,521 or 6.5 percent remain active.
More than 53,000 in the country have died due to the virus while 3.2 million have recuperated from it.
FROM THE ARCHIVES