PNP eyeing more testing, quarantine facilities

MANILA. A health worker collects a blood sample from a police officer as they conduct mass testing for the coronavirus at a school in Manila, Philippines on Friday, May 8, 2020. (AP)

PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) Chief Archie Gamboa on Thursday, July 16, 2020, said they will be opening more quarantine facilities and testing hubs for the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

Gamboa said the PNP currently has seven quarantine and testing facilities that are accredited by the Department of Health (DOH).

As of July 15, there were a total of 1,298 policemen who tested positive for Sars-CoV-2. Nine had died while 529 have recovered from Covid-19.

The rest are active cases and are being monitored by the PNP Health Service (HS).

The HS is also monitoring 1,387 Covid-19 suspect cases and 640 probable cases.

PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac earlier said most of the policemen who contracted the virus are frontliners who implement the quarantine protocols in the communities.

As of July 14, the HS said the PNP testing facility at the Mall of Asia Arena has swabbed 10,385 persons since May 23, 2020, while the PNP General Hospital is now ready to admit patients. It has 10 beds.

The PNP national headquarters Covid-19 Patient Care Center at the Kiangan Billeting Center, which has 17 rooms, has admitted 25 PNP personnel.

Eight policemen are admitted at the 46-bed Taekwondo quarters in Camp Crame while all rooms are still available at the Transformation Oval Quarantine Facility.

Lieutenant General Camilo Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for administration and administrative support to Covid 19 Operations Task Force head, said a rapid testing center is under construction in Camp Sotero Cabahug in Cebu City.

He said the PNP has released P17 million for the facility, including the acquisition of laboratory equipment and the training of health personnel.

Gamboa also instructed health personnel to implement stricter safety measures in all PNP-operated quarantine areas, such as the Ultra Stadium in Pasig City and the PICC quarantine center.

He said the quarantine facility in Ultra Stadium in Pasig City is now catering to 103 patients with remaining 29 rooms, while the PICC quarantine center has 107 patients and remaining 186 available rooms.

Banac clarified that the PNP testing facility in MOA, the quarantine facilities in Ultra and PICC are not exclusively for policemen as they can accommodate civilians there.

He said Covid patients who will not be able to meet requirements for home quarantine may be brought to the quarantine facilities in Ultra and PICC, depending on the order of the Department of Health. (SunStar Philippines)


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