6 of 202 cops performing Bilbid duties COVID-19 positive

SIX of the 202 Philippine National Police personnel subjected to a rapid diagnostic testing by the National Capital Region Police Office’s Regional Health Service have tested positive for COVID-19 virus and have been subjected to quarantine procedures, NCRPO director, Major General Debold M. Sinas said yesterday.

The NCRPO director added that of the 313 Bureau of Corrections personnel who were tested by NCRPO health officers, 32 were also found to be ‘IgG or IgM positive’ just like the six policemen and have been subjected to isolation.

BuCor and NCRPO personnel are likewise conducting a contract tracing of their respective personnel following the development.

Sinas said four of the six policemen are from the NCRPO Regional Mobile Force Battalion while another is from the PNP Special Action Force. The other is assigned to another PNP unit.

All have been advised accordingly by the NCRPO-RHS headed by Lieutenant Colonel Beverly de Guzman and are currently being processed for isolation at the NCRPO quarantine facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City.

De Guzman is also fully coordinating their activities with their counterparts from BuCor.

Sinas said the 131 RMFB personnel and 71 PNP-SAF commandos were subjected to a rapid diagnostic testing last Friday and Saturday. The 202 policemen were sent to help  secure the NBP.

The official said that they have already prioritized the testing of their ‘front-liners’ as part of their effort to ensure the health and welfare of all policemen helping secure Metro Manila residents and its facilities as the country fights the unseen killer virus.

“This effort of NCRPO is being undertaken to ensure that measures are established for early detection of infection among NCRPO personnel  who are performing their regular duties. We also want to prevent the spread of the virus among PNP personnel and Bilibid inmates who are vulnerable to massive infections,” said Sinas.

The Journal Group earlier reported that the Quezon City Police District headquarters in Camp Karingal will be placed under a 3-day ‘lockdown’ as part of health protocols triggered by findings that 13 of its personnel are COVID-19 positive.

QCPD director, Brigadier General Ronnie S. Montejo, who along with Maj. Gen. Sinas and dozens of other top NCRPO officials, had tested negative for COVID-19, recommended to the Metro Manila police chief the 3-day Camp Karingal lockdown as part of their effort to protect their men and the general public.

During the lockdown, Camp Karingal will be closed to all unauthorized persons as entry will be restricted to only its men. The entire headquarters will also be subjected to decontamination to prevent the further spread of the virus to others.

The decision was reached to address the threat posed by the deadly virus in the QCPD headquarters after the release of the results of a targeted group testing last April 25-29.

During the period, a total of 219 QCPD personnel underwent a nasopharyngeal swab test. To date, the result of the test conducted on 115 personnel have been released while the rest are still pending.

Of the 115 personnel, 14--one of them a member of the Joint Task Force NCR--and the rest all QCPD personnel were found positive for COVID-19 infection.

Of the 13, nine are Police Commissioned Officers while four are Police Non-Commissioned Officers. It should also be noted that 10 of the 13 are holding offices inside Camp Karingal while the three are assigned in two QCPD Stations.

The 13, some of them Colonels and Majors are all key personnel of the QCPD tasked to supervise and inspect the ongoing implementation of the ECQ in Q.C. and thus could infect others if not subjected to quarantine and supervised treatment.

Following the release of the result,  all the 13 were transferred to different NCRPO quarantine facilities on orders of Sinas. The official also ordered Montejo to conduct an intensive contract tracing since all 13 of his men are found to be ‘asymptomatic’ and had visited different offices and areas inside and outside  Camp Karingal.

The NCRPO and QCPD leaderships are also seeing to it that those who have direct contacts with the 10 assigned in Camp Karingal are also placed in quarantine facilities for observation and evaluation by police doctors.