Duterte Keeps Unvaccinated at Home as Covid-19 Cases Soar
(Bloomberg) -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered local leaders to restrict the movement of unvaccinated individuals, after nearly four in 10 persons checked for Covid-19 tested positive.
Duterte said village officials are authorized to arrest unvaccinated persons who won’t stay home. “If the unvaccinated refuses and goes around in community, he can be restrained,” he said in a televised briefing.
Reported daily infections on Thursday were at 17,220, a 60% rise from the day prior.
The capital Metro Manila was placed under stricter movement curbs this week amid an exponential rise in infections likely driven by the omicron variant. Some hospitals have already flagged longer waiting times at emergency rooms, while pharmaceutical companies earlier said some medicine brands are temporarily out of stock due to “extraordinary demand.” Senator Panfilo Lacson said Covid test results are also taking time to be released.
The emergence of the omicron variant and resulting curbs pose headwinds to the Philippine economy, which was recovering from intermittent lockdowns. It still has among the lowest vaccine coverages in Southeast Asia, with less than half of the population fully inoculated.
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