As Coronavirus continues to mutate triggering new waves of the pandemic across the globe, experts have emphasised vaccination is the only viable solution. The sooner we vaccinate the citizens, the easier and quicker will be our return to normal. The economy is too fragile to handle recurrent lockdowns, they say.
While some nations are offering incentives like free beers, coupons, gold items etc to draw citizens to vaccination centres, there are some countries like the Philippines and Indonesia which have threatened to penalise those refusing to get the jabs.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to jail those refusing vaccines. Earlier, Indonesia had ordered fines and delayed aid for those not getting the vaccines.
"If you're a person who's not vaccinated and a potential carrier, to protect the people, I have to sequester you in jail," President Duterte said, according to a Bloomberg report.
Philippines has witnessed over 1.3 million cases and recorded 23,000 deaths. It is making slow progress on the vaccination front and has managed to fully vaccinate only 2.1 million out of the targeted 70 million. The nation has a population of 110 million.
If implemented, Philippines would be the first country to enforce such a penalty to get its people vaccinated.
The President’s spokesperson, however, said vaccinations are voluntary and that the President had only emphasized what is possible by the government to enforce. Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra made it clear there is no law that can be enforced or compelled to get people vaccinated.
A majority of the population is reluctant as they are unsure of the vaccine. President Duterte has also ordered the village leaders across the country to maintain a list of those people who are refusing vaccination.
The President said the first wave had depleted the government resources and it cannot afford to have a second wave ravage the nation. The stricter you are, the better, he said.
Apart from these directives, he has also put a full stop to the discussions of potentially resuming physical classes and making face shields mandatory.