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Philippine President Threatens Unvaccinated With Arrest

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Philippines President Threatens Unvaccinated With Arrest

The Philippines’ president Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the arrest of unvaccinated individuals who violate stay-at-home orders intended to curb “galloping” Coronavirus infections brought on by the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Several provinces and cities, including Manila, have been subject to tighter restrictions this week. People without vaccinations in the capital’s 13 million population were ordered to stay home after the number of infections tripled over the last two days.

According to health officials, infections are expected to increase further over the next few days and peak at the end of the month.

Duterte said that “in the event of a national emergency, we can restrain” those who haven’t gotten their shots.

He has now given orders to the (village chiefs) to look for those who are unvaccinated and tell them to stay put if they are not vaccinated.

In the event that someone refuses and leaves their homes and roams out into the community, they can be restrained. Officials are empowered to arrest disobedient persons if they continue to resist.

Covid-19 vaccinations are voluntary in the country of more than 100 million people, and fewer than half have received the vaccine so far.

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President Duterte said he was “appalled” at the huge number of citizens who have not been vaccinated.

“If you don’t get a vaccine, you put everyone at risk,” he said, noting that the virus is “galloping in our country, in our community, and in the world”.

According to health department data, there were more than 17,000 new infections on Thursday, up more than threefold from Tuesday.

There have been 2.9 million cases of the disease in the country, and nearly 52,000 people have died.

Following Covid-19 infections driven by the Delta variant peaking in October last year, the government loosened lockdowns to revive the battered economy.

As families and friends gathered for the holidays, the number of newly diagnosed infections dropped to a few hundred daily.

The highly transmissible Omicron variant is responsible for the increase in cases, according to health experts.

Unvaccinated residents have to stay at home under tighter restrictions until mid-January, except when buying essentials and exercising.

In-person classes and contact sports will not be offered, while restaurants, parks, churches and beauty salons will operate at a reduced capacity.

Source: Reuters

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