MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte warned of more deaths to come as the Philippines struggled to secure COVID-19 vaccines and arrest an uptick in infections.
Duterte on Thursday night said the country's current stock of 3.025 million COVID-19 shots were "barely enough to inoculate the health workers."
"Hanggang ngayon the word 'unavailable' is nandiyan, unavailable because there are not–there’s no sufficient supply to inoculate the world," he said in a pre-recorded speech.
"Matagal pa ito. Sabihin ko sa iyo marami pang mamamatay dito. Hindi ko lang maturo kung sino."
(Until now, the word 'unavailable is there because there's not sufficient supply to inoculate the world This will take more time. I'll tell you, more will die here. I just can't point who.)
Industrial countries "are not ready really to let go of their stocks of vaccine," said the President.
"When will have that stock sufficient to vaccinate the people? I really do not know. Nobody knows," he added.
The Philippines aims to vaccinate 70 million people this year.
Authorities have administered about 1.2 million shots, Duterte's spokesman Harry Roque said in a press briefing earlier Thursday.
The country has logged a total of 904,285 coronavirus infections, of which 183,527 or 20.3 percent were active cases as of Thursday, the Department of Health (DOH) said in its latest bulletin
The agency also reported 148 new COVID-related deaths, pushing the country's coronavirus death toll to 15,594.
Video courtesy of PTV