Continual lockdown, slow vaccination drive threaten PH's recovery - Moody's Analytics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 16) — The Philippines' failure to contain the coronavirus despite a year-long lockdown, worsened by its slow vaccination rollout, will continue to weigh down the country's path to recovery and normalcy, Moody's Analytics said.

Maintaining its position from its November 19 report, Moody's Analytics said the Philippines remains lagging behind among Asia Pacific countries in economic recovery. 

Most nations in the region have already recovered, with China, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam leading the pack.

"Those that are lagging—the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia—are struggling either to contain COVID-19 or to get their economic drivers going, or both," it said in a report released Tuesday

The research unit of credit rater Moody's Investors Service stressed the Philippines' containment of the coronavirus has been "elusive," despite having put quarantine controls to lessen its spread.

On Tuesday, the Department of Health reported 4,437 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 631,320. Metro Manila mayors have also decided to impose targeted lockdowns, a curfew, and a liquor ban in their respective areas, as the region is considered the virus epicenter.

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Moody's Analytics also noted that Filipinos have been dealing with high prices of food, pork products in particular.

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Acknowledging the role of immunizing people to boost the economy, Moody's Analytics said the Philippines was also slow to secure the critical vials.

Given this, herd immunity may not be seen until 2023.

The Philippines has started rolling out COVID-19 vaccines from Sinovac and AstraZeneca, with medical frontliners as priorities. The government earlier assured the public that more vaccines will arrive in the country by the second half of 2021.