Philippines bans unvaccinated people from public transport

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The Philippines will move forward with its plan next week to ban people who are not vaccinated against Covid-19 from public transport, the country’s authorities said on Friday, as the country struggles to contain a surge in infections.

The ban applies to the capital region notoriously congested by some 13 million people, where most of the new cases have emerged, but the measure has faced strong opposition from the country’s human rights commission, which has called it restrictive and discriminatory.

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But the Transport Ministry said on Friday that there would be no stopping the plan, which was necessary to contain the spread and prevent the healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

The Philippines has fully vaccinated about half of its population of 110 million people.

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While nearly all residents in the capital region have been vaccinated, officials say there are many unregistered migrants there, while children and some elderly people have not been vaccinated.

The Philippines reported 37,207 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, a new record for the fifth time in two weeks. So far, 3.12 million people have been infected and more than 53,000 have died from COVID-19 in the Philippines.

The transport ban follows a threat made last week by President Rodrigo Duterte to arrest unvaccinated people. The Interior Ministry this week ordered regional authorities to list all those who have not received the vaccine.

The order could lead to violations of privacy rights and other human rights violations, according to Leila De Lima, a detained senator and Duterte critic, who compared the lists to those used to identify drug addicts, many of whom were mysteriously killed during the president’s government.

Reference: CNN Brasil

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