Driven by the Omicron variant, the Philippines reached an all-time high positive rate for the third consecutive day, and less than half of the population completed their jabs.
The Philippines has reported at least 21,819 new cases of COVID-19 infection, and in the 70,049 tests conducted, the country’s positive rate has risen to a record high of 40% because of President Rodrigo Duterte. Order the arrest of unvaccinated people who violated home isolation regulations. The stay-at-home order is intended to curb “galloping” cases driven by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.
With the latest number of infections on Friday, the country reached a record positive rate for the third consecutive day, and the total number of cases since the pandemic is close to 3 million. On January 1, only 3,617 new cases were reported.
Currently, the country’s official record of active cases is 77,369, the highest since October 17. At the same time, 129 new deaths were reported, bringing the official death toll to 51,871, although the actual death toll may be higher.
Most of the reported cases came from the capital Manila and its surrounding cities and suburbs.
Health officials and independent experts have warned that the number of infections is expected to increase further in the coming days and will reach a peak at the end of this month.
The sudden increase in cases prompted Duterte to order the arrest of unvaccinated people who violated the stay-at-home order on Thursday, raising questions about the legality of the order.
Duterte said in a pre-recorded message: “Because this is a national emergency, my position is that we can limit” those who have not been injected.
“I’m going to [village chiefs] Look for those who have not been vaccinated, and if you can, just ask them or order them to stay where they are. “
“If he refuses and walks out of the house, walking around in the community or anywhere, he will be restrained. If he refuses, then [official] The right to arrest stubborn people,” he added.
In this country of 110 million people, coronavirus vaccination is voluntary. So far, less than half of the population has been vaccinated.
Duterte said he was “shocked” by the large number of Filipinos who had not yet been vaccinated.
He said: “If you don’t get an injection, everyone will be at risk,” and the virus “is raging in our communities, our country, and the world.”
After the coronavirus infection caused by the Delta variant reached its peak in October last year, the government eased the lockdown to revive the hard-hit economy.
On Christmas Eve, the number of new infections decreased to hundreds a day, but as family and friends gather for the holidays, the number of infections increased again.
Health experts say the new cases are caused by the highly spread variant of Omicron.
Under the new stricter restrictions, until mid-January, residents who have not been vaccinated must stay at home unless they buy necessities or exercise.
Restaurants, parks, churches, and beauty salons will operate at lower volumes, while face-to-face classes and contact sports will be suspended.