Galvez defends PH ranking in Nikkei COVID-19 recovery index – Manila Bulletin

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Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. said each country has a “unique” coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic curve that must be taken into account when measuring their effectiveness in dealing with the global health crisis.

Vaccine Czar Carlito Galvez Jr. (file photo)

The senior implementer of the National COVID-19 Task Force (NTF) was reacting to the results of a recovery index recently released by Nikkei Asia, which showed the Philippines ranked last among 121 countries in terms of vaccination, infection control and mobility.

“While we understand the main intention of these financial and economic magazines to stimulate economic recovery on a global scale, we need to take into consideration the different pandemic experiences of each country measured in this index,” Galvez said during the launch of a mega vaccination site in Valenzuela. Town on Thursday, October 7.

“The context is very important. The data used by Nikkei only covered the month of September when the Philippines was at the peak of its fight against the highly transmissible Delta variant, while cases in other countries were on the decline, ”he noted.

The Philippines scored just 30.5 out of 90 points according to the index measures listed by the Tokyo-based financial magazine. These measures include: (Infection management) confirmed cases against the maximum number of confirmed cases per capita; (Tests per case) vaccine deployments, total vaccine doses administered per capita, new vaccine doses administered per capita, proportion of people who were fully vaccinated; (Mobility) community mobility, Oxford rigor index and flying activities.

The top five countries were Malta with 73 points, Chile and Bahrain with 72 points each, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 71 points and Saudi Arabia with 70.5 points.

Galvez pointed out that the country has “dramatically” improved its testing capacity since last year’s pandemic, as a result the government was able to test more individuals in September compared to other neighboring countries in South Asia. Southeast such as Indonesia and Myanmar based on global COVID. -19 monitoring site Our world in data.

“We have a high testing capacity, so we also have more people testing positive because Delta has spread to communities, so we got low index scores. But that doesn’t detract from the fact [that] the Philippines was able to manage and delay the entry of the Delta variant thanks to our effective pandemic response strategy, ”he said.

“That’s why you can’t compare countries because each has a unique epidemic curve. You can enjoy all the moments around you in the Delta. A noong nakapasok sa atin ang Delta, at saka naman nakaluwag ang ibang bansa (We have weak cases when they [other countries] were inundated with cases due to Delta. And when Delta came to see us, other countries started to calm down), ”he continued.

The delta had also affected the country’s immunization production as measures had to be implemented to limit the mobility of people in order to stop the tide.

“Many health workers at vaccination sites have been deployed to hospitals. Other staff have been assigned to guard the borders to monitor the entry of people from other localities. This is why many of our implementation units could only operate a limited number of vaccination centers, ”said Galvez.

The Department of Health (DOH) also took offense at the analysis, which it said used a seven-day period in September as the country battled its worst wave of cases.

In addition to the Nikkei Asia Recovery Index, the Philippines also ranked last in Bloomberg’s COVID-19 Resilience Rankings released on September 28, which measured the economic resilience of 53 countries to the pandemic.


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