MANILA – Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for administration, on Sunday said the Philippine National Police (PNP) lost another police officer to the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), bringing its death toll to 37.
Eleazar, also Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF) chief, said the fatality is a 45-year-old non-commissioned officer assigned with the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).
As of Saturday, Eleazar said the PNP’s total active cases increased to 2,068 after reporting 185 new infections.
He said a total of 67 police officers have recovered from the disease, bringing the PNP’s recovery tally to 12,178.
On Saturday, Eleazar said measures are already in place to ensure that overcrowding will not happen again in any of the PNP’s emergency treatment facilities for personnel infected with Covid-19.
He made the remark after watching a video in social media which showed that Kiangan Emergency Treatment Facility, one of the PNP’s medical assessment and isolation facilities in Camp Crame in Quezon City, was crowded by police personnel who tested positive for the coronavirus.
“We confirm that it indeed happened early this week at a time when the PNP was recording unprecedented number of Covid-19 cases. But measures were immediately undertaken during that time to provide the medical needs of our personnel such as deployment of more PNP medical and healthcare workers at Kiangan, deployment of more beds and setting up of more tents purposely to accommodate more personnel beyond the isolation facility’s maximum 55-bed capacity,” he said in a statement.
He said the PNP has actually started identifying other isolation facilities after noticing a rise in Covid-19 cases among its personnel.
“In fact, last week, our Chief PNP, General Debold Sinas, has approved our recommendation to look for more isolation facilities inside Camp Crame for this purpose,” he added.
Eleazar said as a matter of policy, part of the PNP’s proactive measures is to regularly conduct reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for its personnel, especially those assigned as front-liners in Metro Manila, “to have a daily clear picture of the Covid-19 situation in our organization.”
Metro Manila and its four nearby provinces — Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal have been placed under strictest enhanced community quarantine from March 29 to April 4 to contain the Covid-19 cases surge. (PNA)