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, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
QCPD director, Brigadier General Ronnie S. Montejo, who along with National Capital Region Police Office director, Major Gen. Debold M. 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.
Journal Group sources said 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.
Sources said 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.
The QCPD leadership is also determining if there is a need to subject to quarantine already the 104 other personnel whose swab tests are yet to be released. They are also considering the other personnel who should be given priority in undergoing the swab test.
The QCPD has an actual strength of 563 to include personnel of Philippine National Police National Support Units holding office inside Camp Karingal.
Thus, the 219 personnel who underwent the swab test last April 25-29 is only 14 percent of the total QCPD size. On the other hand, the 13 who tested positive makes up for 11 percent of the 115 whose test results had been released.