Go to India or somewhere, to America: Philippines president

Singapore: Warning that the second wave of the pandemic would be disastrous for the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest the Filipinos who don't want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and asked them to leave and "go to India if you want or somewhere, to America."

Speaking during a pre-recorded televised public address on Monday, Duterte said that the country is facing a national emergency and "we must triple our efforts" to contain the virus, according to media reports from Manila.

Don't get me wrong. There is a crisis being faced in this country. There is a national emergency. If you don't want to get vaccinated, I will have you arrested. And I will inject the vaccine in your butt. You are pests. We are already suffering and you're adding to the burden, Duterte was quoted as saying by INQUIRER.NET.

So all you Filipinos listening, watch out. Don't force my hand into it I have a strong arm for that. Nobody likes it. But if you won't get vaccinated, leave the Philippines. Go to India if you want or somewhere to America. But as long as you are here and you are a human being that can carry the virus, get yourself vaccinated, Duterte, known for his flamboyant and controversial remarks, said.

The Philippines is one of the worst-hit countries in South East Asia with more than one million cases and over 20,000 deaths linked to COVID-19.

According to studies cited in local media, more than half of Filipinos are unwilling to get vaccinated against COVID-19 over fears the shots are not safe.

The President said that the unvaccinated people are carriers of the virus as they can travel and contaminate other people. He also threatened to order the authorities to list people who would refuse to get vaccinated.

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