Philippines ranks near bottom on Nikkei, Bloomberg lists in COVID recovery, resilience

Kennedy Caacbay, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 05 2021 12:35 AM | Updated as of Sep 05 2021 01:33 AM

The Philippines has been lagging in terms of coronavirus recovery and resiliency, recent Nikkei Asia and Bloomberg data showed.

The country ranked second to last in both Nikkei COVID-19 Recovery Index (as of August 31) and Bloomberg COVID Resilience Ranking (as of August 26).

Nikkei Asia's COVID-19 Recovery Index, which was published again Friday, shows that the Philippines could recover later than other countries from the pandemic, as it ranked 120th out of 121 countries in the index.

From its July ranking, the Philippines was down 14 places and is now in the second-to-last spot. Vietnam was at 121st place. 

The news outlet measured the countries' COVID infection management, vaccine rollouts, and social mobility at the end of each month.

According to Nikkei Asia, the index calculates a score between 0 and 90 for each country or region.

China, where the coronavirus first emerged, ranked first in the index with a score of 73 out of 90.

The highest ASEAN country on the list was Singapore (14th).

The Philippines, compared to other countries, was also found to be falling behind in handling the pandemic as it placed 52nd among 53 countries in Bloomberg's COVID Resilience Ranking that was published on August 26.

Because of the country's ranking, the Philippines, which dropped 3 notches from the previous resilience scoresheet, was described as a "bad place to be in during the pandemic".

Bloomberg, meanwhile, considered the study as "a monthly snapshot of where the virus is being handled the most effectively with the least social and economic disruption."

It analyzed "the world’s biggest 53 economies’ performance measured against one another as they all confront the same threat" with the countries' "quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality and progress toward restarting travel and easing border curbs".

The New York media company also observed that no country has been spared by the continuously raging Delta variant, as "every approach that managed to stem the pathogen’s spread has been challenged by the variant, dashing hopes that the end of the COVID-19 era was in sight."

But the Philippines is not the lone Southeast Asian country at the bottom part of the list.

The bottom five in the August rankings were Thailand (49), Vietnam (50), Indonesia (51), the Philippines at (52), and Malaysia (53).

Singapore is at 8th spot. 

Health Sec. Francisco Duque III said in July that Bloomberg's rankings were "very unfair" and used parameters that were "skewed" to countries with a high vaccination rate.

In response to Duque's statement on the study, Vice-President Leni Robredo said the government should consider the COVID-19 resilience study instead to assess its pandemic response.

On Saturday, the Department of Health reported 20,741 new infections, the the second straight day with more than 20,000 fresh cases.

More than 157,000 are active, with COVID cases totaling 2,061,084.

The reported positivity rate on Saturday is also the highest since data from the DOH became available.