A MINDANAO-BASED policeman died last July 20 due to severe medical conditions and COVID-19 making him the 15th member of the Philippine National Police to succumb after contracting the killer virus last March, the Journal Group learned yesterday.
The policeman was identified as Corporal Magdar Sali, a 52-year old member of the Panglima Sugala Municipal Police Station in Tawi-Tawi.
The cop passed away while under confinement at the Datu Halun Sakilan Memorial Hospital due to acute myocardial infraction. The other significant conditions which contributed to his death were COVID-19, severe pneumonia and diabetes.
Cpl. Sali was subjected to a swab test last July 14, with a positive result released 13 days later. It was only last August 18 that the nurse-in-charge of the Tawi-Tawi Provincial Health Service received the result of the RT-PCR test and the copy of the policeman’s death certificate, afterwhich the reports were forwarded to Camp Crame.
On Thursday, the PNP 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 that 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. Thursday they have recorded 55 new COVID-19 cases in the PNP, 27 of them coming from the NCRPO.
The others are the following: three from the PNP National Headquarters; one from a PNP National Administrative Support Units; nine from different PNP National Operational Support Units; three from the Police Regional Office, four in Calabarzon region; five from the PRO6 in Western Visayas; two each from the PRO7 in Central Visayas, Cordilera region and Bangsamoro Administrative Regin; and one from the PRO8 in Eastern Visayas.
As of yesterday, the PNP-HS said there were a total of 3,153 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the PNP with 751 other policemen described as Probable Persons Under Investigation and 2,546 others as Suspected PUIs.
Since last March, a total of 2,283 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 of COVID-19.
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 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.