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President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened the people of the Philippines with jail time if they refuse to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

During his televised address on Monday, Duterte made it clear that he didn't approve of the low turnouts at various vaccination stations in the country's capital, Manila.

"Don't get me wrong, there is a crisis in this country. I'm just exasperated by Filipinos not heeding the government."

As of June 20, Philippine authorities had fully vaccinated 2.1 million people, making slow progress towards the government's target to immunise up to 70 million people this year in a country of 110 million, reports France24.

The country is facing one of Asia's worst outbreaks so far, with more than 23,000 deaths and over 1.3 million positive cases.

So far, officials have made it clear that the vaccine is voluntary and that no one will be forced to get it if they don't want to. Duterte has now said the exact opposite, leaving people confused and health officials up in arms.

Schools in the island nation are also still closed and, during his address, he made it clear that schools will not be opening soon.

Image credit: Yahoo News India

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