COVID-19 cases spike among Calabarzon cops

THE Philippine National Police Health Service yesterday noted a spike on new COVID-19 cases among members of the Police Regional Office 4-A in Calabarzon region with a total of 130 of its members, one of them a Police Commissioned Officer reported to have contracted the virus and are now undergoing quarantine and treatment.

The 130 were among the 134 new cases reported by the PNP-HS headed by Brigadier General Herminio S. Tadeo Jr. The four others are all from the National Capital Region Police Office.

PRO4-A director, Brig. Gen. Vicente D. Danao Jr. said they are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety and well-being of all members of the Calabarzon police in the aftermath of the latest PNP-HS finding. Danao said  all PRO4-A personnel who tested positive for the virus are undergoing quarantine.

At present, there are a total of 80 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the NCRPO, the latest of them four personnel of the Northern Police District who initially tested negative during a Target Group Testing but were found to be positive when subjected to a swab test. All were discovered to be asymptomatic and are now under quarantine, said NCRPO director, Major Gen. Debold M. Sinas.

Tadeo said there are already a total of 1,223 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the PNP, with 501 of them having recovered already while nine succumbed to sickness.

There are also a total of 666 Probable Persons Under Investigation and 1,431 Suspected PUIs in the 209,000-strong police force.

Philippine National Police chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa earlier assured there are enough policemen to keep peace and order in the country and man Quarantine Control Points amid worries the rising number of PNP members infected by the virus could affect the PNP performance.

“We are now 209,000-strong. I think we can afford to deploy more men. That won’t be a problem,” the PNP chief said.

Gen. Gamboa said  almost all of those who contracted the virus were manning QCPs.

However, he explained that a policeman who shows symptoms of the virus is required to undergo a 14-day quarantine and another 7-10 days of additional quarantine. After those nearly 24-day long quarantine, the concerned policeman will be subjected to two COVID tests  and once cleared of the virus will be asked to return to work.

“After he is cleared, back-to-work na sya at hindi naman puwedeng excuse forever at no work, no pay din tayo,” he said.

Gen. Gamboa also assured they are exerting all efforts to ensure the protection of the entire police force as it continues to enforce all community quarantine rules in the country to help prevent further spread of the killer COVID-19 virus.

The PNP chief likewise assured the country they have a very effective contact tracing and at the same time doing their best to ensure the protection of their men who are involved in the war on drugs or serving warrants of arrest and search warrants as part of their effort to account for criminals nationwide while helping fight the spread of the deadly COVID-19 virus at the same time.