DOH to WHO: Don’t compare PH COVID-19 situation to other countries

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The Department of Health emphasized that one must look closely at the socioeconomic context of the Philippines before making a comparison with other countries, specifically the population ratio versus number of cases.

“Our socioeconomic context, particularly living conditions, as well as health system capacity, even prior to COVID, is different from Singapore,” Health Undersecretary and Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a statement.

Although cases continue to rise, the Philippines registers a 3.6 percent case fatality rate, or 1,236 per 1 million population, which is still low compared to the Global CFR of 5.1 percent.

“Please take that into account when we do our analysis. Let us not cherry pick the countries we want to compare ourselves to,” she added.

Vergeire’s remark came after reports from the World Health Organization stating that the Philippines has the fastest rise in COVID-19 cases in the Western Pacific region.

Several lawmakers expressed concern and took it as a sign to improve the government’s response to the pandemic situation.

“For the past weeks, we lost focus on our primary goal of containing the virus. We reopened the economy drastically, even for the non-essential sectors like POGO,” Senator Joel Villanueva said.

Senate President Tito Sotto recommended that the “IATF address the health protocols and programs being done by the DOH.”