THE Philippine National Police (PNP) may start testing personnel for the novel coronavirus next week with the approval of its own diagnostic laboratory.
The facility is temporarily located at the PNP Crime Laboratory Office in Camp Crame pending the completion of the 84-square meter facility behind the PNP Health Service (PNPHS) office.
Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for administration, said Friday, May 22, that the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) has approved the facility and they were just waiting for the Department of Health to issue a license to operate.
Cascolan said 15 personnel of the PNP Crime Laboratory already underwent training on the reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, which will detect the novel coronavirus, or Sars-CoV-2, in throat and nasal swabs.
“Unahin natin ang mga kapulisan natin lalo na ang mga frontliner...we need to be sure of our PNP first and then it will be continuing.... anytime pag natapos na mga pulis natin pwede na mga sibilyan pumasok syempre,” Cascolan said.
The PNP also plans to establish diagnostic laboratories in the Central Visayas and Davao regional police offices to serve personnel in the Visayas and Mindanao.
According to the PNPHS, 260 policemen have tested positive for the virus as of May 21.
Of the total, four had died, 84 have recovered while the others were still being treated.
There are also 788 probable cases and 574 suspected cases among the policemen. (Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo/SunStar Philippines)