PH rises to 57th from 103rd in global COVID-19 recovery report

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) — The country improved its ranking in a monthly global report which measures a government’s pandemic response towards recovery.

Nikkei Asia’s COVID-19 Recovery Index showed that the Philippines jumped 46 spots to 57th in November from 103rd in October, in a tie for the same place with Malaysia, Norway and Tajikistan. The Philippines garnered a score 53.5.

The recovery index assesses the infection management, vaccine rollouts, and social mobility of 122 countries. A higher ranking indicates that a country is closer to recovery, Nikkei said.

The Tokyo-based publication said that the improvement in the Philippines’ ranking is due to a “significant increase in its infection management scores.”

The country has been experiencing a decline in COVID-19 cases, with new daily cases dipping to three digits. There were 356 new infections recorded on Tuesday — the lowest in 17 months.

Although the country’s infection numbers have dropped from the September peak, Nikkei said that the “short-term case fatality rate stands at over 9% - the second highest in the world, according to Our World Data.”

Among Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia ranked the highest at 30th place. It was followed by Indonesia (37th), Malaysia and the Philippines (57th), Thailand (67th), Singapore (96th), Myanmar (103rd), and Vietnam (118th). Laos was at the bottom at 122nd spot, while there was no ranking for Brunei.

Bahrain topped the November ranking with a score of 73.0.

Containing the Delta variant

For its part, Malacañang said that the higher ranking indicates that the country was able to contain the more transmissible Delta variant.

“Our 121st September and 103rd October rankings were done when the Philippines was experiencing a spike of cases brought about by the Delta variant,” said Cabinet Secretary and acting presidential spokesperson Karlo Nograles in a Tuesday briefing. “This latest Nikkei Asia COVID-19 Recovery Index is a clear indication that we have successfully contained the highly transmissible Delta variant.”

But the Palace reminded the public not to be complacent and still follow the minimum public health protocols.

When asked if Metro Manila and other areas will be downgraded to a more relaxed Alert Level 1 soon, Nograles said that the Inter-Agency Task Force is awaiting findings from the World Health Organization regarding the Omicron variant.

“We are monitoring Omicron very closely. Inaabangan namin kung ano ang magiging final na findings mula sa WHO at mula sa mga health experts internationally as well,” he said.

[Translation: We are monitoring Omicron very closely. We are waiting for the final findings from the WHO and international health experts.]

As of December 6, government data showed that a total of 92.75 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered. Of this number, 53.49 million have received at least their first dose and around 38.70 million have already got their second shot. Meanwhile, 561,125 have received their booster dose.