Philippines receives first vaccine doses

The Philippines has received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine doses.
The Philippines has received its first shipment of coronavirus vaccine doses.

The Philippines has received its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines, making it one of the last countries to get supplies of the shots in Southeast Asia.

President Rodrigo Duterte personally welcomed the arrival of 600,000 doses of the vaccine manufactured by Sinovac at a military air base on Sunday.

"COVID-19 vaccines should be treated as a global public good and made available to all, rich and poor alike," he said, as he thanked China for the donation.

"No nation - no people - should be left to suffer the ravages of this pandemic for whatever reason."

The Philippines was also supposed to receive an initial 525,600 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine on Monday, but the delivery is to be delayed by a week due to supply problems.

The government plans to purchase at least 148 million doses of vaccines to inoculate about 70 million Filipinos for free. Most of the shipments are expected to arrive later this year.

The Philippines has suffered more than 12,000 coronavirus deaths and 570,000 cases.

Elsewhere around the world, Germany has announced that travellers from France's northeastern Moselle region will face additional restrictions because of the high rate of variant coronavirus cases there.

Germany's disease control agency the Robert Koch Institute said it would add Moselle to the list of "variant of concern" areas that already includes countries such as Portugal and the UK.

In Denmark, about 1200 people have gathered in the centre of Copenhagen to protest lockdown restrictions, with eight people arrested.

The demonstration was largely peaceful on Saturday night but some are accused of behaving violently against police or violating fireworks regulations, police said.

The rally, organised by the group dubbed Men in Black Denmark, was the first demonstration in Copenhagen since the Danish government last week announced it was extending several restrictions.

And Brazil's capital Rio de Janeiro has entered a two-week lockdown, joining several states in adopting measures to reduce the spread of the virus as intensive care beds begin to fill.

Australian Associated Press