A 45-YEAR -old police non-commissioned officer from the Police Regional Office 4-A in Calabarzon region was recorded as the 21st COVID-19 fatality in the 209,000-strong Philippine National Police, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
The cop described as PNP Patient No. 6,741 expired in a hospital 6:35 a.m. last Friday, the PNP Health Service headed by Brigadier General Ronaldo E. Olay said.
However, the official said that 6,108 of the total 6,727 officers and men of the police force who have contracted the virus since last March have already recovered from the disease and are now back on full duty.
He added that they are still monitoring 598 ‘active cases’ in the PNP.
The 20th fatality was identified as a 50-year-old PNCO from the National Capital Region Police Office while the 19th is a 51-year old PNCO from the Police Security and Protection Group.
The 18th was a 54-yea-old Police Commissioned Officer from a Regional Maritime Unit who died last October 5.
On Sunday, the PNP-HS recorded another 52 new COVID-19 cases in the organization with 14 of them each coming from the Police Regional Office 8 in Eastern Visayas and PRO9 in Western Mindanao. On the other hand, the NCRPO recorded six cases.
Four cases were also each recorded in Cordillera and Bangsamoro Administration Region Police Regional Office. Three others were from the PRO4-A; two from PRO2 in Cagayan Valley; and one each from PRO1 in Ilocos-Pangasinan region; PRO3 in Central Luzon; PRO5 in Bicol; PRO6 in Western Visayas; and in PRO11 in Southern Mindanao.
Last September 18, the PNP-HS reported the 17th COVID-19 fatality in the police organization: a 28-year old PNCO from the NCRPO who succumbed to medical co-morbidities and complications aggravated by the virus.
PNP chief, General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan said the opening of another molecular laboratory in Camp Crame which will help speed-up the testing for COVID-19 virus of all police personnel.
The PNP chief said that the laboratory being run by the PNP-HS is the newest PNP-operated testing hub for the detection of COVID-19 infections.
“ It should be noted that recovery rate of PNP COVID cases is at 71.6 percent consistent with rates posted on a national scale,” Gen. Cascolan said..
PNP spokesman, Colonel Ysmael S. Yu said that at present, there is already an existing and operational RT-PCR Laboratory in Camp Crame being run by the PNP Crime Lab. Another PNP-operated RT-PCR facility in Cebu City has also been constructed and is now in the initial stages of the licensing process to fully operationalize theCOVID testing facility for Central Visayas police personnel.
All these three laboratories have a daily testing capacity of 150-180.
Gen. Cascolan has ordered the PNP-HS to further improve their handling of COVID-19 patients. The PNP is also coming up with more quarantine centers and testing hubs soon to cater to members of the force who have contracted the dreaded COVID-19 virus and need to undergo isolation and treatment.
At present, the PNP is already operating and managing seven quarantine and testing facilities in the country.