MANILA— An official on Wednesday suggested requiring the public to carry their COVID-19 vaccination cards on lanyards whenever going outside their homes, as the Philippines continued to fight an uptick in coronavirus cases.
Interior Undersecretary Martin Diño noted restrictions in Metro Manila that limit indoor restaurant dining to small groups of fully vaccinated individuals.
"Iri-request ko sa inter-agency task force para maiutos sa lahat ng mga barangay na ito na sana ang maging sakripisyo ng bawat Pilipinong nabakunahan: kung ikaw ay bakunado na, paglabas mo ng bahay, isuot mo na ‘yong vaccination card," he said.
(I will request the inter-agency task force to order these to all barangays in what I hope will be a sacrifice from all vaccinated Filipinos: If you are already vaccinated, once you go out your home, wear your vaccination card.)
He then showed his own vaccination card hanging from his neck on a lanyard.
"Papaano mo malalaman na hindi bakunado kung hindi nakasabit ang vaccination card?" Diño said in a televised public briefing.
"At paglabas mo ng bahay, hindi ka na maaabala ng pulis, ng barangay, na tatanungin ka, ‘Nasaan na ang vaccination card mo?’ Antimanong isasabit mo na sa iyong dibdib," he continued.
(How will you know someone is not vaccinated if they are not wearing their vaccination card? When you go outside the house, you will no longer be bothered by policemen or barangay officials who may ask you, 'Where is your vaccination card?' because it's already hanging on your chest.)
Video courtesy of PTV
Metro Manila is testing until Sept. 30 a new alert level system accompanied by granular lockdowns in a bid to better arrest the spread of COVID-19 and spur business activity.
At least 3,000 families were under granular lockdown on Monday, an official said.
"Kanina may lumabas na isang babae na nandoon sa granular lockdown tapos lumabas," said Diño. "Mino-monitor namin nang husto ‘to. Pero so far, ‘yon pa lang."
(A while ago a woman left an area under granular lockdown. We are monitoring this. But so far, that is the only instance.)
The Philippines is fighting one of Asia's worst coronavirus outbreaks, with infections crossing 2.4 million on Tuesday and overall deaths topping 37,000.
Government aims to inoculate 70 percent of the country's 109 people before the year ends to achieve herd immunity and safely reopen the economy. At least 18.5 million people have been fully vaccinated so far.
The government said on Friday it was fixing bugs in an online platform for digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates. The VaxCertPH portal is currently limited to Metro Manila and Baguio City residents who are outbound migrant workers and travelers.