Manila execs blame ‘fake news’ for vax chaos

By Marita Moaje

August 5, 2021, 6:00 pm

<p><strong>CROWDED.</strong> This mall in Sta. Cruz, Manila is forced to cancel vaccination on Thursday (Aug. 5, 2021) because of overcrowding as early as 3 a.m. Based on police reports, people came in droves because of reports that unvaccinated individuals will be arrested if they go out during the enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20. <em>(Photo courtesy of Manila-PIO)</em></p>

CROWDED. This mall in Sta. Cruz, Manila is forced to cancel vaccination on Thursday (Aug. 5, 2021) because of overcrowding as early as 3 a.m. Based on police reports, people came in droves because of reports that unvaccinated individuals will be arrested if they go out during the enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20. (Photo courtesy of Manila-PIO)

MANILA – Rumors and fake news on social media caused the influx of people at different vaccination sites in the capital city Manila on Thursday.

Manila Public Information Office head Julius Leonen said the thousands who flocked to the four malls that offered 2,500 first doses each of the Covid-19 vaccine said they came in droves because of a report that unvaccinated individuals will be arrested once the 15-day enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) starts on Friday.

Most came from Laguna and Cavite provinces and were not pre-registered.

The police estimated the crowd at SM San Lazaro in Sta. Cruz at between 7,000 and 10,000; 5,000 at SM Manila near the City Hall; about 3,000 at the Lucky Chinatown in Binondo; and over 4,000 at Robinsons Manila in Ermita.

SM San Lazaro had to cancel the rollout to ensure safety while vaccination continued at the other three venues.

Leonen said their fears were confirmed by members of the Manila Police District (MPD) who assisted in the four inoculation sites.

Napag-alaman ng mga imbestigador na dumagsa ang mga tao dahil natatakot sila sa kumalat na balita na hindi sila papayagan lumabas ng kanilang tirahan kung hindi sila bakunado. Huhuliin daw po sila. Last day pa naman ngayon bago mag-ECQ (The investigators found out that people flocked because of the news that they will no longer be allowed to go out of their houses if they are not vaccinated, that they will be apprehended. Moreover, it’s the last day before ECQ),” Leonen said in a media statement.

“Rowdy ang pagdating at inalis ang mga barikada (They were rowdy and they removed the barriers),” he added.

He reiterated it was fake news and cited Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s previous statement that all those going to vaccination sites will be allowed to go out during the ECQ from Aug. 6 to 20.

Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan said in a radio interview that based on reports, the situation was still peaceful around 10 p.m. on Wednesday.

Pagdating ng 2 a.m., dumagsa ang mga tao. Karamihan sa mga pumunta hindi taga Maynila. Karamihan ay taga Laguna, Cavite. Karamihan ay walang mga QR code. Hindi pre-registered (It was around 2 a.m. when people started to arrive. Most of them were not from Manila. Most were from Laguna, Cavite. They do not have QR codes and have not pre-registered),” she said.

Leonen said there were also groups from Bulacan and Rizal.

To be vaccinated in Manila, registration must be completed via www.manilacovid19vaccine.ph and the QR (quick response) code presented at jab sites.

Vaccination is on a first come first-served basis, except at the drive-thru site at the Quirino Grandstand. (PNA)



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