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PNP stepping up monitoring of ‘active’ COVID-19 cases amid aggressive RT-PCR tests

LIEUTENANT General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, the commander of the Administrative Support for Joint COVID Task Force yesterday said they have stepped-up their monitoring of ‘active COVID-19 cases’ in the police force where 28 have already passed away after contracting the killer virus since March last year.

Mamang PulisAs of last Saturday, there were already a total of 9,219 COVID-19 cases in the PNP—the cases recorded from March 16, 2020 to January 8—although 8,861 of the patients have already recovered from the disease and are now back in full duty status.

Eleazar reported to PNP chief, General Debold M. Sinas that as of last January 8, there are a total of 9,589 validated PNP COVID-19 cases, 57 of them considered as Persons Under Monitoring/Close Contact; 81 Suspected Persons Under Investigation; and 232 probable cases.

Eleazar, also the PNP Deputy Chief for Administration on Saturday said they are looking at 330 ‘Active Cases.’

The official said that as of last Friday, 8,861 or 96.12 percent of the confirmed 9,219 cases have fully recovered from the virus. The 28 deaths comprise 0.30 percent of the total while the 330 ‘Active Cases’ compose 3.58 percent of the total number of policemen who have acquired the virus since last March.

On Monday last week, the PNP recorded its 28th COVID-19 fatality: a 41-year old Police Non-Commissioned Officer from the Cauayan City Police Station in Isabela who passed away early in the morning.

However, Eleazar said they expect the number to rise amid an all-out effort of the PNP leadership to ensure the testing of all its personnel nationwide.

Eleazar said that as of last Friday, the following number of police personnel have tested positive for COVID-19: 351 assigned at the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame; 2,652 from the different National Operational Support Units; and 6,216 from the 17 Police Regional Offices.

Of the active cases; 17 are assigned at the NHQ; 110 from the NSUs; and 203 from the PROs.

Of the 8,722 who recovered, 333 are from the NHQ; 2,529 from the NOSUs; and 5,999 from the PROs.

Of the 28 deaths; one of the fatalities is assigned at the NHQ; 12 from the NSUs; and 15 from the PROs.

Eleazar said that as of yesterday, 16 police personnel remained in the hospital while 314 are in PNP-run quarantine facilities.

Shortly after last Christmas, 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 while waiting to be accommodated to other hospitals if needed.

As of last Friday, a total of 80,195 policemen have been subjected to an RT-PCR test; 2,356 of them from the NHQ; 25,909 from the NOSUs; and 51,930 from the PROs, more than 17,000 of them from the National Capital Region Police Office.

Eleazar said they are progressing on their move to test their men for the virus specifically those assigned in Metro Manila.

“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 to treatment areas for patients, manned by six doctors, 54 nurses, 36 others allied health workers and six ambulance drivers divided into three teams, said PNP Health Service director, Brigadier Gen. Nolasco K. Bathan who also announced that they have three brand-new top-of-the line ambulances donated by AFPSLAI to the PNP.

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

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.

The facility has its own nurse stations, a CCTV and a public address system, an internet connectivity and quartering for medical staff. Its patients will be automatically provided with basic health and hygiene kits upon entry.

Bathan said that it also has a treatment room, a transition area from clean to contaminated area and an acute care area for the monitoring of unstable patients until they become stable.