A study by an Australian-based think-tank group showed the Philippines placed a rather low 79th place out of 98 countries rated for their performance in fighting the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index unveiled on Thursday showed the Philippines got an average score of 30.6, which is close to the 31.2 of Spain and Italy’s 40.4, two of the worst-hit European countries.
The top performers New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan had scores of 94.4, 90.8, and 86.4, respectively.
Lowy Institute based the scores on how countries managed the pandemic by accumulating figures including confirmed cases, deaths, cases and deaths per million, confirmed cases in proportion to tests, and tests per thousands, which came in 36 weeks before January 9.
“Coronavirus continues to spread worldwide with more than 90 million confirmed cases across 190 countries and two million deaths as of mid-January 2021. For nearly a year, governments and societies have been turned inwards to fight an invisible enemy, exposing competing structures, vulnerabilities, and political priorities,” the institute said.
“An average across those indicators was then calculated for individual countries in each period and normalized to produce a score from 0 (worst performing) to 100 (best performing). Collectively, these indicators point to how well or poorly countries have managed the pandemic in the 36 weeks that followed their hundredth confirmed case of Covid-19,” it added.
Within the Southeast Asia, the Philippines was ahead only of Indonesia, which ranked 85th with a 24.7 score. Among countries in Southeast Asia, Vietnam got the highest score at 90.8 and rank of No. 2.
The institute said that lower confirmed cases and deaths definitely point to better response against the pandemic.
“Fewer reported cases and deaths, both in aggregate and per capita terms, point towards a better response to the virus. More tests conducted on a per capita basis reveal a more accurate picture of the extent of the pandemic at the national level. Lower rates of positive tests, meanwhile, indicate greater degrees of control over the transmission of Covid-19,” it said.