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PNP steps up anti-COVID drive

AMID fears of a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the country during the Christmas and New Year holidays, Philippine National Police chief General Debold M. Sinas has ordered all police units nationwide to fully enforce all Inter-agency Task Force health protocols to help prevent further transmission of the killer virus.

The top cop ordered all 17 Police Regional Office directors and their provincial, city and municipal units and other subordinate stations to ensure the enforcement of the mandatory wearing of full-coverage face shield in areas under General Community and Modified GCQ.

The IATF for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases declared that in areas placed under GCQ, the following shall be strictly enforced:

Mass gatherings such as but not limited to movie screenings, concerts, sporting events and other entertainment activities, community assemblies and non-essential work gatherings shall be strictly prohibited.

Gatherings that are for the provision of critical government services and authorized humanitarian activities while adhering to the prescribed minimum health standards however shall be allowed.

Church services shall be allowed up to 30 percent of the seating capacity provided that religious gatherings shall be limited to the conduct of religious worship and/or service.

In areas under MGCQ, authorized mass gatherings shall be allowed provided that participants shall be limited to 50 percent of the seating or venue capacity.

The PNP chief ordered his men to ensure that all persons outside their residence will be wearing full-coverage face shields together with face masks, earloop masks, indigenous, reusable or do-it-yourself masks or other facial protective equipment.

This means that police will be going after people violating the health requirements when they go out of their residences pursuant to existing guidelines issued by the national government subject to fair and humane penalties or punishments that may be issued by Local Government Units or implemented by law enforcement agencies.

All LGUs were likewise asked to use IAT-endorsed contact tracing and contact monitoring applications where they are available or use community-based contact tracing and contact monitoring.

Gen. Sinas directed his men to remind and caution the public not to hold public gatherings such as karaoke parties and other activities that are likely to increase COVID-19 transmission.

He also encouraged the public to celebrate the holidays with the members of the family, relatives and friends within the confines of their homes in accordance with the allowed number and venue capacity.

However, the PNP chief called on his field commanders and chiefs of police to show compassion during their enforcement of the rules by not arresting violators without face shield or using unauthorized ones and instead provide them with extra face shields if available.

Gen. Sinas also ordered the conduct of the PNP ‘Recorida/Oplan Bandillo’ in every barangay in coordination with barangay officials to remind the public of the IATF-MEID guidelines and protocols and ensure adherence to minimum health standard protocols such as the wearing of face mask and full-coverage face shields and physical distancing.

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