Over 1,000 cops infected with COVID-19
Photo release shows the PNP augmentation contingent of 100 policemen from Police Regional Offices in Western Visayas and Eastern Visayas ready to board ship at Ormoc City Seaport to assist operations under Cebu City's enhanced community quarantine.
Release/Philippine National Police

Over 1,000 cops infected with COVID-19

Bella Perez-Rubio (Philstar.com) - July 10, 2020 - 10:50am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police on Thursday night announced 25 new cases of the novel coronavirus among its ranks. This brings the total number of cops who have been infected with the deadly disease up to 1,006.

Eight of the new cases are from the Central Visayas police — the most number of cases from a single regional office from Thursday's tally. 250 officers were deployed to the city after it was put under a stricter enhanced community quarantine in June.

RELATED: PNP deploys additional 150 SAF troops for Cebu ECQ enforcement | PNP to send 100 cops to augment Cebu City ECQ

Making up the rest of new cases are seven police officers from the Metro Manila, four from Calabarzon, and one each from Camp Crame, Quezon City, Special Action Forces, the Highway Patrol Group and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group

The national police did not announce any new deaths, maintaining their previous death toll of nine.

Officials on Monday announced that police visibility would be intensified for areas under general community quarantine and modified GCQ to enforce ordinances on anti-loitering, drinking and the smoking ban.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, who heads the Joint Task Force COVID Shield, said the move was also an effort to keep residents indoors amid what he called the complacency of the public in the fight against the coronavirus disease.

Despite these claims, which have been parroted by several government officials, data shows that the public has been doing its part to curb the virus' spread.

RELATED: Gov't said Filipinos are 'pasaway' and violate quarantine, but data show otherwise

'Militaristic, police-centered strategy vs COVID-19'

After a series of record-breaking spikes in daily infections, Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Thursday urged the government to revise its strategy against the deadly novel coronavirus disease.

"We need to rethink our militaristic and police-centered approach to the problem," Hontiveros said.

The senator added that "heightened medical visibility," is more necessary than heightened police visibility, saying "we need an army of health professionals" to combat the virus.

Meanwhile, the Commission on Human Rights last week expressed concern that the arrests made by police amid the novel coronavirus pandemic "appear to violate the government's own health and safety guidelines."

The commission said that physical distancing guidelines, in particular, seem to be disregarded during arrests.

"We urge the law enforcers to adhere to government’s own health protocols and serve as good examples for the rest of the citizens to follow," the commission's spokesperson Jacqueline de Guia said.

"At the same time, this reminder comes at a time when the Philippine National Police also notes a rise in the case of police officers testing positive for [COVID-19]. It would then be to the benefit of our police officers to help curb the trend of possible more infections by being more conscious of their actions," she added.

As it stands, the country has logged a total of 51, 754 novel coronavirus cases with a record-high of 2,539 new infections recorded on Wednesday.

This, only days after the previous record-breaking high of 2,434 on Sunday, and another 2,099 infections on Monday.

A researcher from the University of the Philippines on Tuesday warned that COVID-19 cases could breach 100,000 in the country by the end of August.

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