Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Duterte orders military to bypass vaccine ‘gridlock’



Duterte orders military to bypass vaccine ‘gridlock’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Philippines is rolling out a vaccination campaign for 12.7 million young people aged 12-17. AFP

Duterte orders military to bypass vaccine ‘gridlock’

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered military and police to airlift Covid-19 vaccines across the country’s provinces to bypass “gridlocks” in jab distribution that he blamed on local governments.

While nearly 90 per cent of adults in the capital region are fully vaccinated, only about 35 per cent of adults in the country have had both jabs.

“[Supplies] will no longer pass through the provincial government because that would be another gridlock,” Duterte said in a meeting with pandemic advisers on November 2 that was broadcast the next day.

Duterte has leaned heavily on the armed services to fight the pandemic. They enforced one of the world’s most severe lockdowns and transported medical supplies across the country and internationally.

“Upon delivery by plane and arrival at the [vaccine operations centre], the helicopters there will take over. They would be the ones to take them to the municipal governments,” the president said.

“The armed forces have the lift capability,” military spokesman Colonel Ramon Zagala told AFP on November 3.

At the same meeting on November 2, Carlito Galvez, head of the country’s Covid-19 task force, acknowledged that local governments needed to “boost their capacity” to inject more people per day as well as to “procure their own cold chain system” to store more vaccines.

Health secretary Francisco Duque told Duterte coronavirus cases were on a “downward trend” across the country after a September peak.

The government eased some pandemic restrictions last month, opening cinemas and gyms in the capital and allowing higher capacities at restaurants and on public transport.

On November 3 the government rolled out vaccines for 12.7 million young people aged 12-17.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has given the green light for anyone who contracts the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron mutation or any other variant to convalesce or receive treatment at home or in any other reasonable non-healthcare setting. The new decision supersedes a restriction on home care for

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Demining rat ‘hero’ Magawa dead at 8

    A landmine-hunting rat that was awarded a gold medal for heroism for clearing ordnance from the Cambodian countryside has died, his charity said on January 11. Magawa, a giant African pouched rat originally from Tanzania, helped clear mines from about 225,000sqm of land – the equivalent of 42

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,