PNP to fast-track new COVID testing lab after recording 33 new cases
Photo dated June 16 shows members of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group conducting an operation Santolan, Quezon City.
The STAR/Boy Santos

PNP to fast-track new COVID testing lab after recording 33 new cases

Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - June 21, 2020 - 10:43am

MANILA, Philippines — The national police is looking to expedite the construction of its second coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing laboratory after its tally of cases reached 483 patients over the weekend.

According to the PNP’s public information office, police leadership has already mobilized the PNP Command Group and concerned Directorial Staff to fast track preparations and construction of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory in Central Visayas. 

The Department of Health has called RT-PCR tests the "gold standard" in detecting the new pathogen as they allow for the detection of genetic material in body fluids or samples. 

RELATED: There are two kinds of COVID-19 tests used in the Philippines. How are they different?

In a statement, Police Gen. Archie Gamboa, who serves as chief of the national police, said: “Capacity-building measures such as having our own testing laboratories will ensure that our police front liners are tested and that we get the results fast.”

"It is in protecting our own PNP personnel that we are able to protect the Filipino people better," he added. 

PNP coronavirus tally hits 483

Over the weekend, the PNP recorded its 483rd case of the coronavirus. 

From a total of 450 cases recorded on Thursday evening, the agency's case tally rose to 456 the following evening and then skyrocketed to 483 cases on Saturday night. Of this number, 225 were recorded in Metro Manila while 112 were in Central Visayas. 

Cases of police carrying the new pathogen made up 1.6% of the health department's total 28,459 confirmed patient tally as of June 19.

This comes just days after the PNP sent a police augmentation force of 100 cops to Central Visayas to support the enforcement of the recently-declared enhanced community quarantine in Cebu where a spike in coronavirus was recorded.

As it stands, the PNP already operates one RT-PCR laboratory in Camp Crame licensed by the health department. In its statement, the PNP said it is seeking DOH approval of a suitable site for the second proposed laboratory.

COVID-19 has infected over 29,000 Filipinos, leading to over 1,100 deaths, as of the most recent DOH tally published late Saturday night. 

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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