By Elyjah Rosales

PHOTO: Sun Star

It is not right to contrast “apples” to “oranges,” the Department of Health (DOH) defended yesterday following the Philippines’ 79th rank finish over 98 countries in the COVID-19 control operations study.

Although DOH told that they would acknowledge the report and “all research about COVID-19 and the opportunities to learn from good practices of other countries,” they argued that the Australian think tank researchers from Lowy Institute “did not capture the complex nature of [the] pandemic response,” in their index methodologies.

They also emphasized that these are “very dynamic and the capture of proper context is crucial in assessing the performance of a country.”

“The indicators of performance used by the Philippines are multidimensional, with both strategic and operational indicators of health and economic performance and across the Prevent - Detect - Isolate - Test - Treat strategies,” they stated.

Meanwhile, having a higher ranking than United States (US) still does not change the fact the PH is one of the countries with poor COVID-19 procedures, the same study revealed.

Even as the President Rodrigo Duterte-led nation finished with a 30.6 score compared to the 14.3 of US, it is still obviously far from where the other countries in the Asian region are.

For instance, New Zealand, Vietnam, and Taiwan both placed in the first three seeds whereas Thailand, Cyprus, Rwanda, Iceland, Australia, Latvia, and Sri Lanka sat in the top 10.

Brazil, on the other hand, was last with a distant 4.3 marker as China was not included given the lack of publicized data.

The study ran for 36 weeks following each countries’ hundredth confirmed case of COVID-19 from the information available until January 9, 2021.

It has also covered the percentage of confirmed cases, cases per million, deaths, deaths per million, cases as a proportion of tests, and tests per thousand.