WHO 'never made comment' that PH leads West Pac nations in COVID-19 rise - official

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2020 12:11 PM

Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe, WHO Country Representative, speaks at a presser in Manila, February 12, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - It is "unfair" to say that the World Health Organization (WHO) had concluded that the Philippines is leading the rise in coronavirus cases in the Western Pacific region, its country representative said Monday following comments from government officials.

While the WHO provides data on COVID-19 cases in different parts of the world, it does not compare the pandemic response of countries, its Philippine representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said.

"The World Health Organization does not compare countries or makes such assessments," he said in a virtual press briefing.

"It is unfair to say that WHO made that comment or assessment we did not... The World Health Organization never made such a comment or an assessment," he added.

Abeyasinghe made the remark after broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer published an analysis report based on data from the WHO on the rising number of virus infections in the Philippines.

Based on the WHO-Western Pacific Region data, the Philippines has the most number of new cases from June 17 to 23, and has the fastest 7-day moving average. 

Both Malacañang and the Department of Health have since reacted to the report, defending the Philippines' response to the virus outbreak.

As of June 29, the Philippines has confirmed 36,438 COVID-19 cases. This includes 1,255 deaths and 9,956 recoveries.