According to international medical journal The Lancet, the Philippines ranked 66th among 91 countries when it comes to suppressing the spreading of COVID-19.
A September 14 study by The Lancet COVID-19 Commission said that one of the main reasons for the ranking is due to President Rodrigo Duterte’s “medical populism.”
The journal defines “medical populism” as the process of “simplifying the pandemic by downplaying its impacts or touting easy solutions or treatments, spectacularizing their responses to crisis, forging divisions between the ‘people’ and dangerous ‘others,’ and making medical knowledge claims to support the above.”
Other leaders that the journal claims to exhibit medical populism are US President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Both of the said countries belong to the top three nations with the most coronavirus cases in the world.
The commission said the Philippines has “moderate transmission” with 37.5 new infections and 0.5 new deaths per million a day last in the month of August.
The country was able to conduct 8.2 tests per case daily last month and a reproduction rate of 1.2.
Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, China, Myanmar, Malaysia, New Zealand, Uganda, Togo, Pakistan, Latvia, Luxembourg, Uruguay, South Korea, Finland, Cuba, and Rwanda are the countries that were able to suppress the transmission of COVID-19, said the commission.
The Department of Health (DOH) responded saying that the agency will continue fighting the disease.
“We always receive naman itong mga ganitong komento ‘no, there are rankings and there are these specific comments. But ang sa amin magtatrabaho lang kami ng tuluy-tuloy [we will just work continuously],” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum Wednesday.
“Kami po ay sama samang nagtatrabaho, we are doing a whole-of-nation, whole-of-society approach for this response that we have for COVID-19. Kung ano man po ang magiging komento, tayo po ay patuloy pa rin na magtatrabaho para labanan itong sakit na ito at alagaan ang buong populasyon,” she added.
31 million worldwide have been infected by the coronavirus, while in the Philippines, the total number of cases is expected to hit 300,000 anytime soon.
It is not looking good for the country, and the netizens know exactly who to blame.
DDS: Ang galing ni Tatay Digong. Dahil sa kanya, talo natin sa ranking ‘yung 67th-91st. Woooh! 🎉 https://t.co/5GssLBH4Sj
— Jisas Sergio 🇵🇭 (@jownuss) September 23, 2020
Hahabol din tayo. Wait lang kayo… pic.twitter.com/6WhaUN7wtu
— *** to infinity and beyond *** (@iambuzzlightyr) September 23, 2020
nagmamagaling kasi ang inutile na prez, noong nag-aaral pa mahilig mangopya pero bakit hindi ginawa ngayon? Sana copy paste na lang from other nations na did better than us. Late sa pagclose ng border, sa mass testing, sa contact tracing at hindi pa rin natapos ang lockdown.
— Kaya pa ba Pilipinas? (@leighcue888) September 23, 2020
Mga DDS: pic.twitter.com/Ouy1UxstrJ
— AltMr.Fu (@altmisterfu) September 23, 2020