President Duterte said people who do not believe in vaccines should die five times over for putting others in danger, and warned that more people will die because of a vaccine shortage.
In a Thursday night address, Duterte expressed anger upon learning that a recent survey showed that 50 percent of the population are afraid to get the jab.
The January 2021 Social Weather Station survey said almost half of all Filipinos are unwilling to get inoculated for COVID-19 mainly due to concerns about the safety of the vaccines. Others believe vaccines are not needed or may be expensive.
“We are facing turmoil not only in the Philippines but in the entire world,” he said. “The worst… is yet to come… More will die because of COVID-19 as there is no sufficient supply of vaccines to inoculate the world.”
He said he did not know when the country would have enough stocks to vaccinate the people.
“That I do not know. Nobody knows,” he said. “I tell you, more people will die here, I just cannot say who.”
In a briefing Friday, the head of the World Health Organization said the number of COVID-19 cases per week nearly doubled globally over the last two months, coming close to the highest rate so far in the pandemic.
“Cases and deaths are continuing to increase at worrying rates,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
The Philippines logged 10,726 new COVID-19 cases Friday, bringing the total number of infections to 914,971. active infections swelled to a record-high of 193,476, the Department of Health (DOH) reported.
Of this number, which is 21.1 percent of the total cases, 96 percent are mild; 2.9 percent are asymptomatic; 0.4 percent are critical; 0.5 percent are severe; and 0.30 are moderate.
The DOH reported 145 new fatalities Friday, bringing the death toll from COVID-19 to 15,738, which is 1.72 percent of total cases. It was the eighth straight day that COVID-related deaths counted more than 100.
The DOH also reported 650 patients who recently recovered, bringing the total recoveries to 705,757, which is 77.1 percent of the total.
The DOH said the case fatality rate (CFR) in Metro Manila is at 1.46 percent, computed based on the number of deaths from the specific disease over the number of confirmed cases with outcomes.
Meanwhile, the OCTA Research Group on Friday said five Metro Manila cities showed a downward trend in new COVID-19 cases as the reproduction number in the National Capital Region (NCR) decreased to 1.16.
In their latest monitoring report, OCTA said Pasay, Manila, Marikina, Taguig, and Mandaluyong have been recording negative one-week case growth rates for at least two weeks.
Metro Manila posted a -0.4 percent one-week growth rate with an average of 5,085 new cases per day over the past week, while its positivity rate dipped to 24 percent from 25 percent.
The reproduction number in the capital region also fell to 1.16 during the week of April 9 to 15 from 1.19 but this still means each COVID-19 case can infect more than one other person.
“While the trend has slowed in the NCR, the region will continue to have a high number of new COVID-19 cases for the next few weeks, which means demand for hospital care in the NCR will not ease very soon,” OCTA said.
The group said hospital bed occupancy in Metro Manila stood at 65 percent while intensive care unit (ICU) utilization was at 85 percent.
The Department of Health cautioned the public against interpreting the lower number of new cases as an indication of slower COVID-19 transmission, noting that the “artificial decrease” is caused by some laboratories that do not operate daily.