Researchers’ case fatality rate data in ASEAN juxtaposed with recovery rate posted by state-run news agency

May 10, 2021 - 4:47 PM
Suspected coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients lie on hospital beds outside the emergency room of Amang Rodriguez Memorial Medical Center, in Marikina City, Metro Manila, Philippines, April 19, 2021. (Reuters/Lisa Marie David)

In terms of percentage, the Philippines ranked third in the COVID-19 case fatality rate in Southeast Asia, according to a May 7 data from Our World In Data.

Our World In Data, a website providing global overview on how living conditions are changing, is “a collaborative effort between the researchers of the Oxford Martin Programme on Global Development at the University of Oxford.”

Meanwhile, the case fatality rate ranking was shared by youth-oriented science organization Earth Shaker Philippines in response to an infographic posted by the state-run Philippine News Agency on Monday.

PNA reported that the country has a 92.7% recovery rate compared to its regional neighbors as of Sunday, citing data from Worldometer.

“Out of the country’s 1,101,990 total cases, 1,022,224 or 92.76% of Filipinos have recovered from #Covid19,” part of its caption reads.

While the report was well-received by some, it also earned critical reactions from various social media users and accounts.

“If we’re talking about percentages, the Philippines also ranks 3RD among 10 ASEAN countries in terms of Case Fatality Rate – or the ratio between confirmed deaths and confirmed #COVID19 cases,” Earth Shaker wrote, citing May 7 data from Our World In Data, which cited John Hopkins University CSSE COVID-19 data as source.

The data also showed that the Philippines is also third among the ASEAN countries but in terms of death as of May 7, with a 1.66% case fatality rate.

Indonesia leads the list with 2.74%, followed by Myanmar with a 2.25% case fatality rate.

As of May 9, the Philippines ranks third in the case fatality rate with 1.68%.

The first is Indonesia with 2.74% and the second is Myanmar with a 2.25% case fatality rate.

Case fatality rate among Southeast Asian countries as of May 10, 2021. (Photo from Our World in Data website)

The Philippines has a total number of 18,472 deaths as of Sunday.

It has recorded 204 new deaths on that day, which is the highest number reported in a day since April 12, according to ABS-CBN data analyst Edson Guido.

On Monday, 204 more deaths were added bringing the total COVID-19 fatalities to 18,472.

Other Twitter users also pointed out that despite the reported high recovery rate as shown by PNA, the Philippines is still among the countries in the region with a high number of total COVID-19 cases.

“But what about the number of cases? Don’t cherry-pick the data,” an online user said in response to the news outlet’s post.

“Bruh, taas ng recovery rate mo pero milyon naman kaso mo. Saka ‘yung deaths, kamusta?” another Filipino wrote.

Another Twitter account shared the latest infographic by The ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Post which notes that the country ranks second in terms of the total number of COVID-19 cases and the number of active infections.

The government was previously criticized for releasing infographics showing the country’s supposed high ranking in vaccination compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors.

READ: Third from the last: Independent tracker shows Philippines’ ranking in Southeast Asia vaccination

Last month, an independent vaccine tracker shared that the Philippines has a poor vaccination rollout rate despite the government claiming that the country has the most number of people vaccinated in the region.

It was revealed that the Presidential Communications Operations Office has directed government media platforms to show data conveying that the country “is faring better than many other countries addressing the pandemic.”

PCOO News and Information Bureau Director Virginia Arcilla-Agtay said that there was nothing wrong with “amplifying facts” following the criticisms.

“There is nothing wrong with this, nor is it a lie, it is simply amplifying facts,” she was quoted as saying before.

“These achievements are the products of efficient methods, programs, and undertakings—something we should take pride in and something that we should see as a result of the government’s tireless efforts, especially by those in the [Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases] and [National Task Force Against Covid-19], and by our healthcare workers and other front-liners,” Agtay added.