PH still at bottom of Bloomberg COVID-19 resiliency ranking

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 27) — Despite the decline in coronavirus infections, the Philippines is still "the worst place to be in" during the pandemic, according to the latest Bloomberg COVID-19 resilience ranking.

In its report released Wednesday, Bloomberg said the country placed last for the second straight month among 53 nations in terms of resilience and response to the global health crisis.

The Philippines scored 40.5 while neighboring country Vietnam was second lowest with a rating of 44. All economies at the bottom five are in Southeast Asia, including Thailand (46.8) and Malaysia (48.9), with the exception of Romania (49.5).

Bloomberg noted that while the outbreak in Southeast Asia may have peaked and vaccination has improved, many of the region's nations are "still reeling" from the surge caused by the Delta variant.

Around August, the Philippines started to tally record-breaking numbers of new cases, with experts citing the highly contagious variant as among the primary drivers.

But as infections dropped over the past weeks, the independent OCTA Research group said cases may finally reach the pre-Delta surge level by the end of October.

READ: PH now at low-risk for COVID-19, but ICU use still at moderate level

Meanwhile, the newest Bloomberg report also showed European countries are still leading when it comes to handling the pandemic. It listed Ireland as the most effective, with a resiliency score of 75.1, or nearly twice as the Philippines'.

According to the international news agency, "a constant of the consistently high-ranked economies has been a widespread degree of government trust and societal compliance."

It added that countries performing well have also invested in public health infrastructure, including systems for contact tracing, effective testing, and health education.

In a Senate hearing earlier this month, Health Secretary Francisco Duque attributed the Philippines' dismal showing in Bloomberg's September report to previous problems in accessing COVID-19 vaccines.

In recent weeks, the government has repeatedly proclaimed the nation now has a more stable supply, and even started expanding vaccination to minors aged 12 to 17.

Duque had also questioned Bloomberg for only evaluating a fourth of around 200 countries worldwide, saying "it is rather strange that they sliced off the ranking just where the Philippines would be projected as being the last."

Bloomberg said it uses several indicators in its monthly ranking, including virus containment, quality of healthcare, vaccination coverage, overall mortality, and progress toward reopening borders to tourists.