Cebuanas TV Channel is reporting that the President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Armed Forces of the Philippines to launch military operations against foreign countries in response to the spread of Zika virus.
President Duterte has issued an executive order calling for a “special military operation” to target countries which are suspected of being involved in spreading the virus.
The Philippines is a signatory to the World Health Organization’s Zika declaration, and is one of several countries to have been affected by the virus in the region.
The President also announced the creation of the Presidential Emergency Operations Center (PEC) and declared the creation a state of emergency for Cebua, which includes the Philippines.
“We will launch an all-out war against the nations that have spread the Zika virus, including the countries of South Korea, Japan, Australia, France, and the United Kingdom,” the President said.
“We will also make every effort to eradicate the spread through vaccination and isolation of all the population.”
According to the Cebuean Times, Duterte also ordered the military to start a new offensive against “foreign governments that are suspected” of spreading the Zika Virus.
The Presidential Emergency Command also issued a statement, saying the new military operations will target “the foreign governments who have been involved in the spreading of Zika and other diseases, including those of the United States, Japan and France.”
“The Philippine National Police will take the lead in coordinating with the National Police Command, which will coordinate with the Armed forces, in order to identify and take action against the foreign governments that have been responsible for spreading the disease,” the statement said.
The Presidential Action Plan (PAP) issued by Duterte in April, also calls for the creation “of the Presidential Action Command (PACC) in order that it will coordinate all military activities in the areas where the outbreak of Zika is spreading, including in the Cagayan Valley, where the Philippines has the highest number of confirmed cases and deaths.”
“As the number of cases and fatalities increases, the number and nature of military operations, the scope of their missions, the manner of their deployment and the equipment deployed will increase as well,” the plan states.
“This will result in the destruction of the threat to the Republic, the country and the people of the country, as well as the elimination of any other form of terrorism,” the PAP added.
On Monday, the Philippines also declared a state for “Zika virus recovery, prevention and control,” a move that has been welcomed by international health organizations.
“The Philippines declaration on Zika is an important step in combating the Zika outbreak, and we hope that other countries will follow the Philippines lead,” Dr. Rene Martins, the head of the World Bank, told ABC News.
“I believe that it is a significant and important step towards global efforts to contain and control the spread and spread of the Zika pandemic.”
The Philippines and Brazil are among the countries affected by a surge in cases in the wake of the outbreak.
In the first three weeks of the year, there were 1,898 confirmed cases, and 572 deaths.
Meanwhile, the Zika-linked birth defect Guillain-Barre syndrome is spreading across Brazil, with more than 4,300 cases reported in the past two weeks alone.
The World Health Organisation reported Monday that the number has jumped to 3,049 confirmed cases with more,624 cases confirmed and 1,938 deaths.