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3 Nov, 2021 10:06

Philippines’ Duterte vows to punish local officials unless Covid-19 vaccine rollout improves

Philippines’ Duterte vows to punish local officials unless Covid-19 vaccine rollout improves

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to punish government officials if they fail to meet targets for the country’s Covid vaccine rollout. Only a little over a third of the population is fully inoculated at present.

In a recorded message aired on Wednesday, Duterte challenged government officials to ramp up daily Covid-19 vaccinations to at least a million from a current average of 500,000.  

He claimed the country has a sufficient number of vaccines and there is therefore no reason why the pace of the rollout cannot be increased in the nation of 109 million people; 77 million of whom are eligible for vaccination. 

“We saw fault lines in the overall picture of our vaccination program. I am not content,” he stated. 

The outspoken leader, who last month proposed inoculating anti-vaxxers in their sleep, demanded that local officials do more. The president contended that officials “who are not performing nor using the doses given to them in a most expeditious manner” would be sanctioned and held accountable. He did not elaborate on what the penalties might be. 

Also on rt.com ‘Jab ‘em in their sleep’: Philippines’ Duterte proposes new way of tackling vaccine hesitancy

The president has asked the police and military to use aerial assets to deliver vaccines to the nation’s provinces and islands. 

As part of a gradual easing of lockdown measures, the government announced on Wednesday that a night-time curfew in the Manila region would be lifted from Thursday. 

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