November 26 ------ The Philippines scored 46th out of 53 countries when it came to handling the COVID-19 crisis with the least amount of economic and social disruption, a Bloomberg study showed. In its "COVID resilience ranking," the US news site measured the 53 largest economies on how they did along 10 key metrics, including increase in cases, mortality rate, healthcare system capacity, lockdown impact, community mobility, GDP growth forecast, and agreements on vaccine supply. Each component gets a score from 0 to 100, with 100 being the best.
At the top of the rankings is New Zealand, with Bloomberg citing the island nation's "swift, decisive action" against the virus. The Philippines' score of 48.9 places it below 45 countries and above only seven: Iran, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Belgium, Peru, Argentina and Mexico. It also fared the worst among the Southeast Asian nations on the list, behind Vietnam (10), Singapore (11), Thailand (15), Indonesia (19), and Malaysia (29).
Near Asian neighbors also scored much higher: Japan (2), Taiwan (3), South Korea (4), China (8), and Hong Kong (12). The Philippines scored especially poorly when it came to community mobility—the "movement of people to offices and retail spaces compared to a pre-pandemic baseline in the past month"—with a -39.4% score. Only two countries had a lower score. Bloomberg said it used datasets and indexes from organizations around the world to create its list. It stressed that the ranking is not a "final verdict"—that countries' rankings may go up or down as they shift strategies.
"By ranking their access to a coronavirus vaccine, we also provide a window into how these economies’ fortunes may shift in the future," the site said. "With a vaccine seen as the silver bullet that could end the pandemic, securing supply is an important component of an economy’s COVID-19 response," it added. As of Wednesday, the Philippines has 422,915 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second highest tally in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia. There was a recent uptick in virus cases in Metro Manila, with experts warning against complacency and surmising that disruptions by the recent typhoons may have caused a lag in delivering results from health centers.
Among all the world's countries, the United Nations ranked the Philippines the fourth hardest-hit by natural disasters in the last 20 years, with 304 disaster events from 2000 to 2019.