Malacañang refutes WHO report that PH has fastest rise in virus cases in Western Pacific

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque criticized the World Health Organization (WHO) on its report that the Philippines has the fastest-growing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) transmissions in the Western Pacific region.

Roque made the remark Monday in a virtual press briefing to refute the statistics of the global organization.

“We beg to disagree. Siyempre po kung titignan natin ang pagtaas ng kaso, dapat in relation to your population,” said Roque.

(When we look at the increase of cases, we should look at it with your population.)

“Bakit tayo ikukumpara sa Singapore eh ang Singapore, limang milyon lang po ‘yan, isang siyudad lang po ‘yan, hindi pa ang siyudad ng Quezon City o Maynila.”

(Why would they compare us to Singapore? Singapore, that’s just five million, that’s only one city, not even as big as the city of Quezon City or Manila.)

According to WHO data, the Philippines reported 8,143 from June 16th to 27th – the highest in the region.

Singapore followed after recording 2,351 new cases, while came in third with 302 in the same period.

But if cases are adjusted and divided per million population, the rankings will change, Roque said.

Here is the new ranking according to the Palace:

  1. India
  2. Pakistan
  3. Bangladesh
  4. Singapore
  5. Philippines
  6. South Korea
  7. Malaysia
  8. Thailand
  9. Vietnam

Also read: COVID-19 cases in Philippines could reach 60,000 by July 31-experts

The Palace has included India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Thailand on the list even though it is not part of the Western Pacific region, according to WHO.

“Kung idi-divide niyo po ang kaso per million population, malinaw po. Hindi po nagsisinungaling ang datos. Hindi po tayo ang pinakamabilis na dumami ng kaso sa Western Pacific region,” President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman said.

(If we would divide the cases per million population, it would be clear. The data do not lie. We don’t have the fastest-growing increase in cases in the Western Pacific region.)

“Hahayaan na po naming ang datos sumagot doon sa report ng WHO.”

(We will allow the data to answer the WHO report.)

According to him, the Philippines is still “winning” in its fight against COVID-19.

The Department of Health is the first to criticize the WHO data released because of the issue in population ratio versus case count.

For every one million people, the DOH says Singapore’s infection rate is higher at 7,393 compared to 318 in the Philippines.