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Philippine leader threatens jail for those who refuse vaccine jabs

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Philippine leader threatens jail for those who refuse vaccine jabs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to jail Filipinos who refuse doses of the coronavirus vaccine as the government tries to step up jabs to prevent the spread of the more contagious Delta variant.

In a late-night public address, Duterte also said that “stupid” people who don’t want to be vaccinated should just leave the country so as not to infect more Filipinos.

“The country is facing a crisis,” he said. “There is a national emergency. If you don’t want to get the shot, I’ll make you stop.

Duterte said he will ask village officials to keep a list of people who refuse to be vaccinated.

“You have to choose, get vaccinated or I’ll send you to jail,” he added.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra clarified on Tuesday that there is no law that criminalizes refusal of vaccination.

“I think the president just used strong words to convey the need for us to get vaccinated and achieve the immunity heard as soon as possible,” Guevarra told reporters.

“As a lawyer, he knows that getting vaccinated is a legal choice,” he added.

More than 2.1 million Filipinos have been fully immunized since the government launched the vaccination campaign in March.

The total number of coronavirus cases in the Philippines rose to 1,364,239, with 5,249 cases reported on Monday, the health ministry said. The death toll rose from 128 to 23,749, he added. (Dpa / NAN)

(NAN)

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