âPhilippines ranks 79th out of 98 in COVID-19 responseâ
Based on the Lowly Institute study, 98 countries were reviewed for their “average performance” over time in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Philstar.com/Irish Lising, file

‘Philippines ranks 79th out of 98 in COVID-19 response’

Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 29, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines ranked 79th out of 98 countries in terms of coronavirus response, a study prepared by a Sydney-based think tank showed yesterday.

Based on the Lowly Institute study, 98 countries were reviewed for their “average performance” over time in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study used data as of Jan. 9 and ranked the Philippines at 79th place with a score of 30.6 percent, lagging behind some Southeast Asian neighbors.

“In total, 98 countries were evaluated, based on the ability of data across the six indicators used to construct this index,” it said.

These countries were studied 36 weeks following their hundredth confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The study also stated that Vietnam was at second place with 90.8 percent while Thailand was 4th with 84.2 percent.

Singapore ranked 13 with 74.9 percent, while Malaysia was 16th with 71 percent and Myanmar at 24th with 62.3 percent.

The performances were measured based on confirmed cases, confirmed deaths, confirmed cases per million people, confirmed deaths per million people, confirmed cases as a proportion of tests and tests per thousand people.

Apples and oranges

The Department of Health (DOH) welcomed the study, but underscored that many factors must be considered when doing a survey and interpreting results.

“We welcome all research on COVID-19 and the opportunities to learn from good practices of other countries,” it said.

The DOH underscored that the COVID-19 pandemic is “very dynamic, and the capture of proper context is crucial in assessing the performance of a country.”

The agency noted the “usual issues in any measurement across different contexts include the difficulties in choosing what components should be measured, which indicator best represents that component, transforming and comparing data from different sources/ definitions/ interpretations across countries.”

It added that the “very unique environmental or historical influences that affect overall performance” of a country.

“We can’t be comparing apples to oranges. If you look at their methodology – the measures they used did not capture the complex nature of pandemic response, for example how quickly a country initiates contact tracing, readiness of health facilities to address the surges, etc,” the DOH said.

The agency also said that the indicators of performance used by the Philippines are “multidimensional, with both strategic and operational indicators of health and economic performance and across the Prevent - Detect - Isolate - Test - Treat strategies.”

“We will continue to improve our response and increase our capacities, not just for this pandemic, but as we endeavor to achieve universal health care and deliver health for all,” the DOH added.

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