07/29/2021, 10.09
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Manila, Duterte: 'Vaccinate anyone who wants to receive a dose'

The Philippine president concerned about the spread of the Delta variant. Only 6% of the population completley vaccinated. The Philippines is the Asian country most affected by Covid-19 after Indonesia.



Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) - "Administer vaccines to anyone who wants to be vaccinated," Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said yesterday, opening the vaccination campaign to all citizens.

So far, only 6 % of the population has had double doses and Duterte is concerned about the spread of the Delta variant, which has made Southeast Asia the new epicenter of the pandemic. The government would like to vaccinate 70 of the 110 million citizens by the end of the year.

After these statements, it is unclear whether vaccine doses will soon be administered to those outside the priority groups identified by the authorities, namely the elderly, health workers, and people with pre-existing medical conditions. 

Duterte then ordered village leaders to prevent those within their communities who refuse to be vaccinated from leaving their homes: "I am telling you not to leave your homes. If you leave, I will tell the police to take you back to your home because you are a pest," the president said. "If you don't want to help the country by getting vaccinated, then you better stay home."

So far, the government has identified 119 cases of infection from the Delta variant, but experts say it could be many more given the slow genome sequencing capacity in the country. 

This week, Philippine authorities suspended flights from Malaysia and Thailand and tightened controls on Manila. With 1.5 million cases and more than 270,000 deaths, the Philippines is the Asian country most affected by recent new waves of Covid-19 after Indonesia. The last week has seen an average of more than 6 thousand new infections per day.

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