THE Philippine National Police yesterday recorded its 14th COVID-19 death since last March after it confirmed the passing away of a member of the PNP Aviation Security Group who contracted the killer virus last August 12.
PNP spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac said the 14th fatality is a 45-year old male non-commissioned officer. The cop’s death was reported more than a week after the 13thfatality was identified as Staff Sergeant Edgardo Medrano of the Manila Police District headquarters.
The policeman died due to acute pneumonia critical to COVID-19 virus infection while undergoing treatment at the C.T. Reyes Hospital in Tanauan City in Batangas, said National Capital Region Police Office director, Major General Debold M. Sinas.
The PNP Health Service headed by Brig. Gen. Herminio S. Tadeo Jr. said that as of 6 p.m. Wednesday, they have recorded 63 new COVID-19 cases in the PNP, 36 of them coming from the NCRPO.
The others are the following: 7 from the PNP National Headquarters; 7 from different PNP National Administrative Support Units; 8 from different PNP National Operational Support Units; 3 from the Police Regional Office 3 in Central Luzon; 5 from the PRO4-A in Calabarzon region; and 1 each from PRO4-B in Mimaropa region and from the PRO6 in Western Visayas region.
As of yesterday, the PNP-HS said there are a total of 3,098 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the PNP with 739 other policemen described as Probable Persons Under Investigation and 2,412 others as Suspected PUIs.
Since last March, a total of 2,258 police personnel who contracted the disease have already recovered.
There were no further details given on the 14th fatality. However, the NCRPO said that the 13th: SSgt. Medrano was admitted to the Tanauan City hospital last July 23 due to fever, shortness of breath and cough. He underwent a swab test the following day, the positive result of which was released last July 25.
Sinas said that an attending physician requested for a repeat swab test last July 31 and the result which was released last August 3 showed the cop was negative for the virus already.
However, the policeman was transferred to the hospital’s intensive care unit, was intubated and hooked to a mechanical ventilator last August 5 due to persistent severe respiratory distress and decreased oxygen level.
During his scheduled dialysis around 7 p.m. Tuesday last week, the policeman was pronounced dead. Doctors said he died of “Acute Respiratory Failure Secondary to Confirmed Covid Pneumonia Critical with Co-morbidity, DM Type 2 poorly controlled.”
SSgt. Medrano became the 3rd member of the NCRPO to die due to COVID-19.
Sinas said that at present, they are currently strictly implementing health protocols geared at curbing the spread of the virus among their personnel.
“We are continuously building special care facilities to monitor the physical well-being of our police officers and men and providing them necessary protective equipment they need in rendering hteir duties,” the official said.
The 12th PNP fatality was described as a 49-year old personnel of the PNP Finance Service who expired around 12:40 a.m. on Tuesday last week in a private hospital.
The 11th fatality was identified as a 49-year old male Non-Commissioned Officer from the Northern Police District who expired last July 24. The 10th is a 46-year old Police Commissioned Officer assigned at the PNP national headquarters who expired in a hospital two Wednesdays ago.
PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and concurrent commander of the PNP Administrative Support to COVID-19 Operations Task Force, Lieutenant Gen. Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan said he has ordered the PNP-HS to further improve their handling of COVID-19 patients.
PNP chief, General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa said they are 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 the same time, the PNP chief ordered the PNP-HS to implement stricter measures in all PNP-operated quarantine facilities and testing centers to prevent the further spread of the unseen virus.
Helping prevent the spread of the virus by fully enforcing health measures such as wearing of face masks, curfew hours and social distancing is also taking its toll on the national police which since last March have put up Quarantine Control Points in Metro Manila and the rest of the country to check health protocol violators.
At present, the PNP is already operating and managing seven quarantine and testing facilities in the country as part of supportive healthcare system for police front-liners who are involved in the government’s own battle against the pandemic