Politics

DOH: Nikkei index study done when COVID cases in PH at its peak

FILE PHOTO: A computer image created by Nexu Science Communication together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus which is the type of virus linked to COVID-19, shared with Reuters on February 18, 2020. NEXU Science Communication/via REUTERS

MANILA, Philippines — COVID-19 cases were peaking in the Philippines due to the highly contagious Delta variant when the Nikkei Asia made its study for its COVID-19 recovery index, the Department of Health (DOH) reasoned on Thursday.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire made this response to Nikkei Asia’s latest COVID-19 recovery index where the Philippines ranked last in infection control, vaccination and mobility.

She said the Tokyo-based news magazine used a seven-day period in September to analyze and compare the metrics of the countries.

By that time, other countries were already past experiencing COVID-19 surges while the Philippines is still in the middle of one.

“Ang pagtaas ng kaso sa bawat bansa because of the Delta variant did not happen at one specific time period,” she said in a Palace briefing.

(The rise in the number of cases in the countries did not happen simultaneously.)

“Noong ginawa at mineasure ‘yung infection rates natin, dito ‘yung panahon na talagang mataas ang kaso sa ating bansa, kumpara doon sa ibang bansa na nakalipas na po ‘yung peak of cases nila,” she added.

(When the measurements were made on infection rates, the Philippines is experiencing a high number of cases compared to other countries whose peak of cases have been long past.)

For example, Indonesia experienced a surge in cases in July, while other countries experienced it earlier in June but the Philippines saw an uptick in cases due to the Delta variant in September, Vergeire said.

This was how the country ranked last in the index, she added.

She also said the country’s vaccination program was also affected by the increase in COVID-19 infections due to the Delta variant.

The index measures the following factors, with each subcategory worth 10 points for a total of 90:

Infection management:

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 versus peak case count;

Confirmed cases per capita;

Tests per case.

Vaccine rollouts:

Total vaccine doses given per capita;

New vaccine doses given per capita;

Share of people who have been fully vaccinated.

Mobility:

Community mobility;

Oxford stringency index;

Flight activities.

The Philippines ranked last out of 121 countries.

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