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Cops’ COVID-19 test results out in 24 hours

ON orders of Philippine National Police chief General Debold M. Sinas, the Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF) headed by Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday said it has initiated an aggressive mass testing of PNP personnel in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in various police units.

Eleazar, also the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, said the aggressive mass testing — with results released within 24-hours after fluid samples are taken — will also protect the family of police personnel and the community they live in since early detection is important in addressing the pandemic

“We have to maximize the conduct of mass testing among our personnel. In this way, we would be able to immediately isolate those who would test positive and give them proper care and eventually stop the transfer of the virus,” the official said.

Based on the latest PNP data, a total of 8,559 PNP personnel were infected by the coronavirus with 27 deaths since March 16. A total of 8,504 were able to recover while there are 478 active cases.

Last Saturday, the PNP Health Service reported that there were 54 new cases of infection in the PNP: 13 at the National Capital Region Police Office; 10 at the Cordillera Police Regional Office; 9 in different PNP National Operational Support Units and 8 at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame.

The rest are from various Police Regional Offices.

Lt. Gen. Eleazar said that while the PNP has two molecular laboratories based at Camp Crame in Quezon City that could accommodate 420 tests a day, there were cases that the number of PNP personnel being tested did not reach 100.

“We are now coming up with a protocol to test as many of our personnel. Priority areas of these aggressive testing are Metro Manila and other areas with high COVID-19 cases,” he said.

“Part of this protocol is conduct regular tests on our personnel who are assigned as fronare tliners and those who are conducting regular law enforcement operations such as personnel of our anti-illegal drugs forces and other units who are on the field running after criminal elements,” he explained.

Eleazar said that since time is an essential element against COVID-19, they targeting to conduct a 24/7 testing of their personnel and the release of the result within 24-hours of the test.

“We are also continuously improving our COVID-19 testing database and that is the reason why those who were tested in our laboratories would get the result of the swab test through SMS,” he said.

By having a PNP database on COVID-19 for all its personnel, Eleazar said they will also strengthen contact-tracing, which he said, is essential in the fight against the spread of the COVID-19.

The official said that the PNP database on COVID-19 would contain the necessary information that would make it easier for the PNP to facilitate the testing and even tracing of those who came in close contact with virus-positive personnel.

“We are continuously implementing improvements to serve our personnel. The bottomline here is to help our police personnel so we can sustain the operation of the PNP in the service of the Filipino while waiting for the vaccine,” he said.

Publication Source :    People's Journal
Alfred P. Dalizon
Author of the ‘Mamang Pulis’ series and Crame Files | A Journal Group reporter since 1988 and recipient of dozens of national awards from the PNP/DILG/PDEA/DDB/NAPOLCOM and the private sector | Winner of two (2) prestigious Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) for Best Investigative Report | A Finalist for another CMMA Best Investigative Report | A 3-time Journal Group Employee and Top Reporter of the Year