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PNP COVID-19 cases breach 9K mark

THE number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippine National Police from March 16 up to yesterday had breached the 9,000 mark with 27 deaths recorded amid an all-out effort of the PNP leadership to ensure the testing of all its personnel.

A report from the PNP Health Service headed by Brigadier General Nolasco K. Bathan said that there were a total of 9,066 COVID-19 cases in the police force over the past nine months although 8,689 of the patients have already fully recovered and are now back on full duty.

A total of 350 str “active cases” and 30 new cases were reported on Sunday: 16 coming from different PNP National Operational Support Units, 8 from the Police Regional Office 11 in Southern Mindanao; 2 from PRO3 in Central Luzon and 1 each from the National Capital Region Police Office, PRO4-A in Calabarzon region, PRO6 in Western Visayas and from the Bangsamoro Administrative Region police office.

The PNP leadership said they expect the number of patients to increase since they have started testing more police officers and men daily since last month.

Shortly after last Christmas, PNP chief General Debold M. Sinas opened the PNP COVID-19 Emergency Treatment Facility in Camp Crame established to cater to police personnel who have tested positive for the virus and are waiting to be accommodated in other hospitals.

PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and Administrative Support to the Joint Task Force COVID commander Lieutenant Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar said they are progressing in their move to test their men for the virus specifically those assigned in Metro Manila.

Eleazar said that as a result of their aggressive testing, more than 76,000 police personnel have been subjected to RT-PCR.

“But because of this aggressive testing, maraming nagpa-positive kaya nga ang focus namin is to have a more effective contact tracing dito sa NHQ and with the help of the different Station Health Units of the PNP as ordered by Gen. Sinas,” the PNP’s no. 2 man said.

The facility is actually the Kiangan Billeting Center whose 55 beds have been converted for use of patients. The converted treatment area is manned by six doctors, 54 nurses, 36 others allied health workers and six ambulance drivers divided into three teams, said Brig. Gen. Bathan.

The facility is now accommodating PNP personnel who have tested positive for the virus and are having difficulty in breathing or sufering shortness of breath. While waiting for private hospital rooms, they will be required to stay in the area.

Bathan said that facility has been fitted with wash rooms, doffing area, donning area, laundry area with washing machines, a triage area for close contact, a triage area for confirmed cases and a holding area prior to transfer to other quarantine facility.

He said that even those who have close contact with patients need to undergo quarantine.

Gen. Sinas ordered the conversion of the Kiangan center into a special COVID-19 facility as part of his effort to take care of policemen who have contracted the virus while in the performance of their duties.