Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to send people to jail for refusing to receive the coronavirus vaccine because the government has imposed “alert” border controls on new cases of the Delta variant in the country.
“You can choose: I’ll get vaccinated or I’ll send you to jail,” Dutert said in a pre-recorded address in the Tagalog on Monday night.
The Philippines began its vaccination program in March, but has reported low participation in several vaccination centers across the country, although people are also struggling to get a limited supply of Pfizer BioNtech jab.
Accepting that the “these fools” who refused to be vaccinated were being aggravated, Dutert threatened to inject them with “shots aimed at pigs”.
“You’re all stubborn.”
Duterte has also previously threatened to shoot Filipinos the pandemic has been found to violate blocking restrictions. Since that threat, several cases have occurred the alleged violators were killed by authorities, an elderly man and a former soldier who had mixed post-traumatic stress disorder.
Of the country’s estimated 110 million people, only about 1.95 percent were fully vaccinated as of Monday, according to a follower of the Herd Immunity PH vaccine.
According to a report released by the government on Monday night, 8.4 million vaccine doses have been given. At least 6.2 million people have received the first dose, and 2.15 million are fully vaccinated.
As of Monday, the Philippines had reported 1.3 million coronavirus cases and there were still nearly 56,000 active. Many new cases are due to the proliferation of infections in Duterte’s political fortress in Mindanao. More than 23,700 were killed, including 138 on Monday.
Dutert said those who refuse to be vaccinated should “leave the country” and go to India or the United States.
The Philippine medical community has stepped up its efforts to encourage citizens to be vaccinated against coronavirus by opening inoculation sites in churches, shopping malls and movie theaters to make it easier for Filipinos to reach the planes.
The government has hit it off incentives to achieve COVID shooting, including the donation of cattle.
‘There is a crisis’
“There is a crisis in this country. There is a national emergency, ”Dutert added, warning that he could order all village leaders across the nation to make a list of all those who are not vaccinated.
Earlier in the day, the Philippine Department of Health reported that it had detected four new cases of the highly infectious Delta variant, and the government pushed for the restrictions to be raised to an “increased alert” level.
“We want to prevent further entry of this Delta variant,” Health Department spokeswoman Maria Rosario Vergeire told the media on Monday.
“Everyone is on high alert,” Vergeir added, adding that all local governments have been told to be “vigilant”.
Four new cases are of Filipinos returning abroad, bringing the total to 17 officially detected cases, one death and still in hospital.
The Delta variant was first detected in India, which is suffering from a health crisis this year with an increase in cases and a death toll of ten thousand this year.
To help maintain the spread of the variant, the Philippines will maintain a ban on access from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Oman and the United Arab Emirates until June 30.
Laboratories in the Philippines also reported another 14 cases of the Alpha variant first detected in the UK and another 12 cases of the Beta variant first detected in South Africa.
At the same address on Monday night, Dutert also directed his anger at the International Criminal Court, before deciding whether to investigate his administration, to denounce the “crimes against humanity” associated with the war on drugs that have killed thousands of people.
“This ICC is b ****** t. Why would I defend or face a complaint in front of white people? You must be crazy, ”the Philippine president falsely said about an international tribunal made up of 18 judges of different nationalities, ethnicities and genders.
“Our laws are different. Our criminal procedures are different. How do you get justice there? “