FLAGS FOR INDEPENDENCE DAY. Philippine flags are displayed on major streets nationwide as the country prepares for the 124th Independence Day commemoration on June 12. A Philippine flag is seen along Quezon Avenue in Quezon City. (MNS photo)

MANILA, June 6 (Mabuhay) –The Philippines improved its ranking in the Tokyo-based news magazine Nikkei Asia COVID-19 recovery rankings, moving to 33rd place from December 2021’s 57th place.

Based on its May 31 report released on Friday, the Philippines, along with Vietnam, recorded their “best performances” last month for keeping the COVID-19 infections low while managing to ease restrictions.

In 2021, the Philippines also made a huge jump from 103rd place in October to 57th in December to share the rank with Tajikistan, Norway, and Malaysia.

By placing 33rd spot in May, the Philippines is now ahead of over 80 other countries, including Switzerland (38), Israel (44), Japan (53), the United Kingdom (58), Canada (60), Australia and Hong Kong (71), New Zealand (75), Singapore (79), United States (89), and China (93).

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday welcomed this feat and gave credit to its BIDA campaign, and Prevent, Detect, Isolation, Treat, Reintegration (PDITR) strategy.

The DOH also acknowledged the help provided by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) in detecting, reporting, and isolating any new COVID-19 sub-variants such as Omicron BA 2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5.

“The DOH has always been aware that the COVID-19 pandemic response is more marathon than sprint,” outgoing Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said in a statement. “We are carefully pacing ourselves using the whole-of-government and whole-of-nation approach, led by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

“As the current administration ends, we are confident that the next administration and its incoming Secretary of Health will continue or even improve our march to recovery in the New Normal.”

The DOH announced on Friday that the country had detected the Omicron subvariant BA.5 in two individuals from the same household in Region III.

The Philippines also recently detected more cases of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.12.1 and BA.4.

Nikkei Asia sourced its figures from Our World in Data; Google COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports; Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, Cirium, and Nikkei Asia Research. (MNS)

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