President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said those who refused to get vaccinated for Covid-19 should just “stay home” or risk getting jailed and arrested.
Duterte made this statement after Metro Manila mayors agreed to pass local ordinances that will restrict the movements and activities of unvaccinated people amid a steep increase of infections in the region.
“If barangay captains know you are unvaccinated, they can just say ‘Don’t leave your homes’ but if you leave, you will be escorted…If you force the issue, the barangay captain can place you under arrest and bring you to a police station,” he said.
Citing health experts, Duterte said those who refused getting their jabs are at higher risk of contracting severe illness, complications, and death.
“There is a high chance that if you get infected, you will die. So there are few deaths, thank God. But there still are. Perhaps they’re unvaccinated,” he said.
Duterte said vaccines are necessary because these provide a defense, no matter how small, against the deadly virus.
He also said it is the only way to avoid more problems from arising.
“Now, if you ask help from me, I’ll tell you that I won’t help because you didn’t get vaccinated. If you’re vaccinated, I won’t have a problem and you won’t have a problem. Now if you die, you’re on your own,” he said.
On Monday, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Benhur Abalos announced that Metro Manila mayors have agreed to impose stricter measures on individuals who are unvaccinated against Covid-19 after the National Capital Region (NCR) was placed under Alert Level 3 from Jan. 3 to 15.
Under Alert Level 3, Abalos said unvaccinated individuals must remain in their residences at all times except during the procurement of essential goods and services.
The NCR mayors have likewise decided to prohibit the unvaccinated people in indoor and outdoor dining areas, leisure or social trips to malls, hotels, events venues, sports and country clubs, and similar establishments.
Unvaccinated people are also restricted from domestic travel via public transportation except for essential reasons like buying goods and services.