Duterte orders arrest of unvaccinated flouting stay-at-home orders

Bangkok Desk, Jan 7 (EFE).- The president of the Philippines has ordered the arrest of unvaccinated people flouting stay-at-home orders amid rapidly rising Covid-19 cases.

On Monday, Manila authorities imposed new measures, including stay-at-home orders for unvaccinated residents, which a day later were extended to nearby provinces.

“I am now giving orders to the barangay (district) captains to look for those persons who are not vaccinated and just request them or order them, if you may, to stay put,” Rodrigo Duterte said in a televised speech Thursday night.

“And if he refuses and goes out of the house and goes around in the community or maybe everywhere, he can be restrained. If he refuses then the barangay captain, being a person of authority, is empowered to arrest the recalcitrant persons,” he added.

Under the restrictions, the unvaccinated cannot go outside, except to buy basic necessities, to the hospital or to work, in which case they will have to undergo a PCR test every two weeks that they must pay for themselves.

Face-to-face education and sports that require physical contact are also prohibited, casinos and fairs are ordered closed, and the capacity of restaurants and other venues is limited to between 30 and 50 percent.

The Philippines is experiencing a rapid increase in infections, linked in part to the Omicron variant. Cases have shot up from around 3,000 on Saturday to more than 17,000 on Thursday.

The archipelago, which suffered two serious waves of Covid-19 last April and September, has accumulated 2.89 million infections, including more than 51,740 deaths.

According to Our World in Data, just over 43 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. EFE


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