The Philippines offered to lift the limit by preventing nurses and other health professionals from leaving the country if the United Kingdom and Germany send Covid-19 vaccines in return.
Although the country currently has a limit of 5,000 people per year for health workers leaving the country, the director of the International Labor Affairs Bureau, Alice Visperas, told Reuters that the government was “Considering the request to increase the deployment limit” – but only if an agreement can be reached for at least 600,000 Covid-19 vaccines.
Vaccines would be used “To inoculate outgoing workers and hundreds of thousands of Filipino returnees.”
The concept of exchanging nurses for vaccines was criticized by Jocelyn Andamo, an employee of Filipino Nurses United, who said yes “disgusted” in “As nurses and healthcare professionals, they are being treated by the government as commodities or export products.”
The Philippines has recorded more than 560,000 cases of Covid-19 and 12,107 deaths since the start of the pandemic, making it the 31st most affected country. The United Kingdom is the 5th most affected country with more than 4,100,000 cases and 120,988 deaths, while Germany is the 10th most affected country with 2,400,000 cases and 68,365 deaths.
Despite being one of the most affected countries, the United Kingdom has also had one of the most successful vaccine implantation programs, with over 18 million doses administered.
Although the Philippines has not yet started its mass vaccination program, ordered four different vaccines from several different countries – China’s Sinovac vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine from the USA-Germany, vaccine from the UK’s AstraZeneca-Oxford University, as well as Sputnik V. from Russia. The first batch of vaccines, donated by China, should arrive this week.
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