Data in Nikkei’s report gathered during rise in COVID-19 cases in PH—DOH

Published October 7, 2021, 3:55 PM

by Analou de Vera

Scenes along the street going to the densely-populated area of Baranagy 23C in Davao City, a village that was previously placed under 14-day lockdown. (Keith Bacongco/Manila Bulletin)

The Department of Health (DOH) said that the data used in Nikkei’s COVID-19 Recovery Index was when the country was experiencing a rise in cases due to the Delta coronavirus variant.

The Philippines fell to the bottom of the latest Nikkei Asia COVID recovery ranking—which ranked 120 countries based on infection management, vaccine rollouts, and social mobility.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they “tried to analyze the indicators used” in the said ranking.

Vergeire said that not all country’s experience a rise in COVID-19 cases “at one specific time period.”

“Ang Indonesia po nung nangyari sa kanila yung pagtaas ng mga kaso, I think that was sometime in July, sa ibang bansa nag umpisa June palang. Dito po sa ating bansa, September po tayo nag umpisa talagang nag peak ang ating mga kaso at dito po yung time period ng analysis po nitong dalawang surveys na ito (The increase in cases in Indonesia happened, I think, that was sometime in July, while in other countries it started in June. In our country, our peak in cases occurred in September and this was the time period where data for both surveys was taken),” said Vergeire during the Malacanang press briefing.

“What I’m trying to say….nung ginawa po at mineasure yung infection rates natin, dito po yung panahon na talagang mataas ang kaso sa ating bansa, kumpara doon sa ibang bansa na nakalipas na po yung peak of cases nila (What I’m trying to say… when they measured our infection rates, that was the time when the cases are really high in our country, compared in other countries where the peak of their cases has already passed),” she added.

Vergeire added that the vaccination program was also affected during the surge in cases.

“The vaccination activities were affected by this increase in the number of cases here in our country—–not just the supplies but also the access because of this widespread infection during this outbreak that we had,” she said.

The DOH spokesperson assured the public that they are strengthening their responses against COVID-19.

“Itong mga ginagawa natin ngayon, we are doing it (The things we are doing now) —-we’re intensifying what we are doing. And moving forward, we will vaccinate more and we will try to manage the cases more. Sinabi na rin ng WHO (World Health Organization), ang Pilipinas po ay isa sa mga bansa sa Asia na may pinakamababang (The WHO has also said that the Philippines is one of the countries in Asia with the lowest) case fatality rate which means that we are doing well in terms of managing our severe and critical cases,” said Vergeire.

“Tayo ay nakapag ramp up na rin ng testing capacity kaya marami na tayong na da-diagnose. Meron naman tayong nakita na magagandang nangyari sa ating response and ipagpapatuloy lang po natin lahat ito (We have also been able to ramp up our testing capacity so we were able to diagnose more people.. We have seen some good things that happened in our response and we will just continue all of these),” she added.