Philippines no longer at bottom of COVID-19 resilience ranking

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com
Philippines no longer at bottom of COVID-19 resilience ranking
Despite the earlier declaration made by the Malacañang that December 24 is a special working holiday for the recovery of the economy due to the pandemic, people with large baggages start arriving at the Parañaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX) in Parañaque City before dawn on Dec. 23, 2021 to catch their buses as they head to their respective provinces early to avoid the influx of passengers for the Christmas weekend.
The STAR / Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines inched up three spots in a global COVID-19 resilience ranking, placing 50th of 53 countries after three months at the bottom of the listing due to rising infections, inadequate testing, economic disruption and slow vaccinations.

News agency Bloomberg gave the Philippines a resilience score of 52 in its latest update to its resilience ranking, which captures how the world’s 53 biggest economies are responding to the pandemic.

“The Philippines—ranked last the past three months—edges up three places as restrictions were eased, vaccination rates improved and the positive test rate fell, suggesting that undetected infection is finally coming under control,” Bloomberg said.

While Bloomberg noted that the Philippines, along with Indonesia, has given one coronavirus shot to more than half of its population, it and other Southeast Asian nations are still lagging behind developed countries where over 90% of their eligible population are fully vaccinated.

New infections in the Philippines have dramatically decreased from a peak of over 26,000 in September, which health authorities attributed to improved vaccine coverage, especially in Metro Manila, the country’s economic center.

Philstar.com’s independent monitoring shows that over 42% of the Philippines’ population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while over 52% has received their first dose of the shots.

However, only over 1% have been given a booster dose, which is seen to give more protection against emerging coronavirus variants.

Replacing the Philippines at the bottom of the ranking is Vietnam due to an outbreak of the Delta coronavirus variant which “caused deaths to spike and clouded its economic outlook.”

Above Vietnam are South Africa and Indonesia at the 52nd and 51st places. South Africa is currently battling a surge of infections which is suspected to be driven by the potentially more infectious Omicron variant.

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