Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Guillermo Eleazar warned people who do not believe in COVID-19 vaccination they would be liable if they violated lockdown rules with their alleged plan to hold a mass action this month to protest the government’s vaccination program.
Netizens had informed Eleazar about the plan and were seeking police action about social media mobilization of some people who do not believe in the pandemic and the life-saving vaccines.
“While we respect the right of the people to freedom of expression and even the decision of some people to refuse vaccination, encouraging our kababayan to do something that would compromise public health is a different matter,” he said.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to place Metro Manila under ECQ from August 6-20 to contain the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Part of the hard lockdown is stricter border control and the implementation of longer curfew hours, from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., in Metro Manila during the entire ECQ period.
Eleazar said the plan to stage a mass protest by anti-vaccine people would endanger public health amid the threat of the Delta variant which triggered serious public health problems in India and some parts of the world.
He advised the intending participants not to push through with their plan as the PNP would not permit them amid the threat of Covid-19 during the ECQ status.
“Your right to hold protest actions ends when the right of the most number of our kababayan to be safe from COVID-19 starts,” he said.
* Meanwhile, the government’s third-party cold-chain facility and logistics partner Pharmaserv Express sees no problem in handling more than 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines that the government is expecting to get this month. “There will be no problem with that because we can store up to 40 million single-dose vaccines,” said Pharmaserv Express president Andrian Perez during a site inspection with members of the media in its facility in Marikina City.
* Vaccine czar and National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Philippines is set to receive 16 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the coming days. On Tuesday, the Department of Health got three million doses of Moderna vaccine shipment donated by the United States government. As of Wednesday, around five million doses of vaccines such as Moderna, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer, are stored in Pharmaserv.
* Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said almost 80 percent or 629;038 of the 824,920 vaccinated residents in Manila have been fully inoculated as of August 3. On July 31 alone, 44,570 individuals were administered COVID vaccines in Manila.
* The Manila International Airport Authority has started providing free snacks to fully vaccinated passengers while waiting for flight departure at four terminals. MIAA media affairs division chief Connie Bungag said vaccinated passengers will get free snacks being offered at airports and seaports nationwide following the directive of Department of Transportation (DOTr) secretary Arthur Tugade. The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) also reactivated its Malasakit Help Desks at airport terminals across the country to serve free food and beverage packs for vaccinated passengers and Authorized Persons Outside Residence (APORs) waiting for their flights.