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Philippines 45th out of 53 countries in Bloomberg’s ‘Best and Worst Places to Be’ during pandemic

By Tanya Lara Published Apr 27, 2021 5:36 pm Updated Apr 28, 2021 12:38 pm

The ranking, according to Bloomberg, is based on a combination of “nailing the virus and rolling out vaccines” as more COVID-19 variants are emerging around the world.

Singapore tops Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking in April, dethroning New Zealand for the first time. NZ was at the top of the list for five months.

Singapore got the vote for getting its community transmission down to almost zero “thanks to border curbs and a strict quarantine program, allowing citizens to largely go about their everyday lives, even attending concerts and going on cruises. At the same time, Singapore has already administered vaccines equivalent to cover a fifth of its population, an aspect of pandemic control that other virus eliminators like New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan are lagging on.

Asutralian kids on a beach. File photo, 2020

Following Singapore are New Zealand (2), Australia (3), Israel (4), Taiwan (5), South Korea (6), Japan (7), UAE (8), Finland (9), Hong Kong (10), Vietnam (11), China (12), Thailand (13), Denmark (14) and Norway (15).

The Philippines ranks in the worst 10—at No. 45 out of 53 countries. Among the worst countries (from worst) are Brazil (53), Poland (52), Argentina (51), Colombia (50), Iran (49), Mexico (48), Peru (47), Turkey (46), and the Philippines (45).

“Places like France and Chile, where people have good access to shots, fell in the ranking as outbreaks swelled—fueled by mutations of the virus that increasingly have their source in the developing world, where vaccines are in short supply and mitigation efforts are failing. While more than one billion doses have now been administered globally, not enough are going to poorer nations like India, which are driving global infection levels to new records.

“Nowhere has this played out more worryingly than in Poland and Brazil, which dropped to the bottom two spots among the 53 economies ranked. Mexico, which has been last since the Ranking debuted in November, inched up in April for the first time, to 48th, as its virus testing improved.

Israel recently dropped its outdoor mask mandate, with more than half of its population fully vaccinated.  Photo by Jack Guez/AFP

“The US climbs four rungs this month to 17th, as its fast vaccination program sees a reduction in deaths, though cases ticked up amid a loosening of precautions.

The UK, which recently lifted its lockdown, went up seven places to No. 18. Rapid inoculation and tighter border controls have helped the UY deal with new variants.

It imposed a travel ban on India and today, April 27, sent its first batch of medical aid t the struggling country where a new”double mutation strain” has emerged. India is now No. 30 on the Bloomberg list, falling 10 places from March.

Bloomberg explains that the rankings are based on where the pandemic “is being handled most effectively, with the least social and economic disruption—from mortality and testing rates to vaccine access and freedom of movement. It scores economies of more than $200 billion each month on 10 core metrics.”

The Top 20 countries in Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking

Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer for Population Health at the University of Washington, says, “The longer this drags on, the more likely it is that we will see new variants. Then there is a need for a new vaccine or a booster vaccine, and we start all over again.”

The vaccination pace, according to the report, shows how poor countries are lagging behind rich countries. “Countries with the highest average incomes are getting vaccinated about 25 times faster than those with the lowest,” the report said.

....and the Worst 20. 

Extreme poverty is also rising and “most countries in Latin America won’t be able to return to pre-pandemic growth levels until 2023 and per capita income won’t recover until 2025, later than anywhere else,” according to the International Monetary Fund.

“The World Bank says the pandemic will push as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021.”