Duterte on Omicron variant: I want to kill that

The Philippine Star
Duterte on Omicron variant: I want to kill that
“I want to kill that, I just don’t know where. I want to shoot that fool,” Duterte said during his regular public address.
Presidential Photo / Simeon Celi, Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte on Monday said he wants to “shoot dead” the newly discovered Omicron variant of COVID that is spreading in some parts of the world and might jeopardize efforts to fight the pandemic.

“I want to kill that, I just don’t know where. I want to shoot that fool,” Duterte said during his regular public address.

The President said he hopes and prays that the new variant would not be as infectious as the Delta variant, which has also infected thousands of Filipinos.

No cases of the Omicron variant have been detected in the country yet, but health experts said it is just a matter of time.

“We have been in this (fight against COVID-19). So when the time comes that this animal, Omicron, arrives here I hope and I pray that this is not as contagious as D (Delta) and the vaccines that were already given to the citizens would be as good as any other,” Duterte said.

The World Health Organization last week classified the B.1.1.529 variant detected in South Africa as a SARS-CoV-2 “variant of concern,” saying it may spread more quickly than others.

The WHO named the new variant Omicron.

The Philippines barred flights from Botswana, South Africa and other countries with local cases or with the likelihood of occurrences of the Omicron variant.

The government also temporarily suspended flights from Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, which are adjacent to South Africa and Botswana.

The Philippines also deferred the implementation of a resolution allowing the entry of fully vaccinated foreigners with visa-free privileges.

The Philippines placed Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Czech Republic, Eswatini, Hungary, Italy, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and other countries in the “red list” or those deemed “high risk” for COVID from Dec. 1 to 15.

Travelers from these countries, territories and jurisdictions, except for returning Filipinos, are prohibited from entering the Philippines.

Meanwhile, during his weekly Talk to the People, Duterte criticized rights groups that opposes the mandatory vaccination.

“They are always on the other side of any argument or issue,” the President said.

“But all of us here, we all believe in the vaccine. I know of an undersecretary, I forgot (the name) it was in my notes. Maybe I’ll just go to your office, Ma’am, and I’ll hold you, or if not, I’ll tie you to your chair so I can vaccinate you. One, two – it’s up to you, three injections, we can add a booster at the same time so we no longer have a problem,” Duterte said.

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