MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque challenged World Health Organization claim that the Philippines has the fastest COVID-19 transmission rate.
The Palace said on Monday, that compared to other Western Pacific region countries, the Philippines even lags behind. To prove his claim, he compared the number of local cases with countries outside the said region.
He explained that, in numbers, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Singapore shows greater numbers.
When computed per million, India and Pakistan lead with 549,197 and 202, 955. Following those countries are Bangladesh (137, 787), Indonesia (54,010) and Singapore (43,459).
Roque emphasized that the Philippines in fact ranks sixth, far from the first rank it was given. However, the first four countries he mentioned are not part of the said region.
The WHO divides the globe into six regions. Pakistan is a part of the Eastern Mediterranean region according to the chief global health bureau.
On the other hand, Bangladesh, India and Indonesia are part of the Southeast asian region.
A gap in the comparison also exists in the reasoning of the presidential spokesperson. Roque used the total number of cases of COVID-19 per country. However, he should use the cases per million of people digit to build a stronger comparison.
Roque questions validity
“The data doesn’t lie…we will let the data answer the WHO report,” Roque said.
Roque quipped, “The WHO said that we have the fastest rising cases in the whole Western Pacific region. Is this true? We beg to disagree.”
“We beg to disagree. Of course, if you look at the rise in cases, it should be in relation to your population. Why are we being compared to Singapore when it only has 5 million people? That’s just one city, not even as big as Quezon City or Manila,” Roque explained in Filipino.