4 cops manning checkpoints infected with new coronavirus

MANILA. Police stop motorists at a checkpoint in Metro Manila, Philippines on Wednesday, March 18, 2020. (AP)

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said on Wednesday, April 1, that four of the additional confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection are policemen deployed at border control checkpoints in Metro Manila.

As of March 30, Banac said a total of seven policemen have tested positive for the new coronavirus which causes coronavirus disease (Covid-19) while 145 have been considered patients under investigation (PUI) and 1,416 are listed as persons under monitoring (PUM).

He said the four policemen who recently tested positive for the new coronavirus had no history of travel abroad. They may have been exposed to carriers of the virus while manning the quarantine checkpoints.

“Wala silang history of travel. Exposure ito sa frontline, part ng risk na kinakaharap ng frontliners. Of course ‘yung possibility ng coming from the frontline then nag-relieving tapos babalik sa barracks or sa office then possible exposure na naman pagbalik sa field, so pasa-pasa,” Banac said.

Banac assured assistance for the infected policemen.

He said the PNP has designated the Kiangan Billeting Center (KBC) inside Camp Crame in Quezon City as quarantine facility for police personnel.

The KBC offers 43 rooms with free board and lodging and Wi-Fi.

"This initiative is still part of the organization's Biosafety Plan, helping our PUIs and PUMs personnel to have a place where they can stay without worrying about the rent fee and their meal while in quarantine," Banac said.

Banac said those who want to avail the accommodation may keep in touch with the PNP Health Service which will determine who needs to be prioritized.

He said PNP Chief Archie Gamboa has already ordered the regional police offices to identify their own quarantine centers for policemen with symptoms of the infection. Symptoms include fever, cough, colds and breathing difficulty, among others.

The entire Luzon and several areas in the country have been placed under enhanced community quarantine, a measure to keep the people inside their homes in order to contain the disease. (SunStar Philippines)


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