ANOTHER member of the Philippine National Police succumbed to COVID-19-related sickness this week bringing to 12 the number of police personnel who have died after contracting the disease since last March, officials said yesterday.
PNP Health Service director, Brigadier General Herminio S. Tadeo Jr. said that as of 6 p.m. Friday, there were also a total of 2,434 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the 209,000-strong police force with 1,479 of the patients already declared as ‘recovered.’
As of Friday, there are 878 Probable Persons Under Investigation and 2,592 Suspected PUIs in the police force.
The 12th fatality was described as a 49-year old personnel of the PNP Finance Service who expired around 12:40 a.m. last Tuesday 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.
There were also a total of 27 new COVID-19 cases in the PNP as of last Friday, 11 of them from the National Capital Region Police Office followed by 3 each from the Police Regional Office 5 and PRO9 in Bicol and Western Mindanao regions; 2 each from a National Administrative Support and a National Operational Support Unit; and 1 each from PRO3 in Central Luzon; PRO4-A in Calabarzon; PRO6 in Western Visayas; the PNP National Headquarters in Camp Crame; the PNP Intelligence Group; and the PNP Crime Laboratory.
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.