THE number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippine National Police yesterday rose to 2,151 with 42 more policemen confirmed to have contracted the virus. Since last March, a total of 11 police officers and men have died due to the virus while 823 have recovered.
The PNP Health Service headed by Brigadier General Herminio S. Tadeo Jr. said that they are also monitoring a total of 850 Probable Persons Under Investigation and 2,521 Suspected PUIs from the police force.
As of 6 p.m. Friday, the PNP-HS said there were a total of 42 new cases in the PNP, 18 of them coming from the National Capital Region Police Office followed by 6 from the Highway Patrol Group and 4 from the Police Regional Office 9 in Western Mindanao.
The PNP National Headquarters and the PNP-HS each recorded 3 cases while the PRO4-A in Calabarzon region registered 2 cases. The Police Security Protection Group, Special Action Force, Intelligence Group and Headquarters Support Service each recorded a single case.
The 11th fatality was identified as a 49-year old male Non-Commissioned Officer from the Northern Police District who expired last July 24.
On Saturday last week, a 10th policeman was added to the list of COVID-19 fatalities. He was described by the PNP-HS as a 46-year old Police Commissioned Officer assigned at the PNP national headquarters who expired on Wednesday last week.
The Journal Group earlier reported that a member of the NPD with the rank of Police Executive Master Sergeant on Friday last week also died of suspected COVID while confined in a local hospital. The victim’s death was said to have been caused by Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and severe community-acquired pneumonia.
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 as part of supportive healthcare system for police front-liners who are involved in the government’s own battle against the pandemic.