Former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral has expressed her sheer disgust for her peers after the Philippines – for the second time in one week – was called out for its palpably horrid handling of the nation’s Covid19 pandemic response.
“Nakakahiya. Nakakalungkot,” a cringing Ms. Cabral was quoted as saying after it emerged that the Philippines was adjudged “worst” among 121 nations in Nikkei Asia’s Global Covid Recovery Index.
The Nikkei survey said the Philippines has one of the lowest vaccination rates around, which is low even by ASEAN nations’ standards, as only 30 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.
Ms. Cabral said incumbent health officials, particularly those in the Department of Health and the Inter Agency Covid19 Task Force, should own up to their shortcomings.
She said it is blatantly obvious that the government’s pandemic response was hugely lacking as evidenced by the dire statistics prevailing. (As of October 7, the DOH tally shows 2.6 million infections and nearly 39,000 deaths.)
All the ASEAN countries, ironically, fared much better than the Philippines – Indonesia (54th), Singapore (70th), Canbodia (76th), Malaysia (102nd) Myanmar (105th) and Thailand (109th).
“Kulelat and Pilipinas sa mga survey dahil hindi sapat ang ginagawa ng mga kinauukulan.”
Earlier, the Philippines was also ranked dead last among 53 big economies polled by the globally-respected Bloomberg group regarding Covic19 resilience.
Health authorities, meanwhile, vehemently disputed the Nikkei survey’s findings. Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez said the analysis was “skewed.’