PNP building more quarantine, testing hubs amid 59 new COVID-19 cases 
Photo shows Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas taking a swab test on May 30, 2020 to check for possible novel coronavirus transmission.
Release/Marikina PIO
PNP building more quarantine, testing hubs amid 59 new COVID-19 cases 
Franco Luna (Philstar.com) - July 16, 2020 - 5:14pm

MANILA, Philippines — After recording 59 new coronavirus cases in its latest tally, the national police is hoping to expand its healthcare system's capacity by building more quarantine centers and testing hubs. 

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, Police Gen. Archie  Gamboa, PNP chief, said he ordered police health personnel to implement stricter measures in all PNP-operated quarantine facilities and testing centers amid the ongoing spike in cases within the agency's ranks.

As it stands, the PNP already maintains seven quarantine and testing facilities accredited and approved by the health department and the coronavirus task force to support police personnel in need of healthcare throughout the coronavirus pandemic, including:.

  1. Mall of Asia Arena
  2. PNP General Hospital 
  3. Ultra Stadium 
  4. Kiangan Billeting Center (Camp Crame)
  5. PICC Quarantine Center 
  6. Taekwondo Quarters (Camp Crame) 
  7. Transformation Oval Quarantine Facility

“PNP is now preparing to establish more quarantine centers and testing hubs as we improve our healthcare support mechanism for our police frontliners and personnel who are exposed to the risk of contamination while fulfilling their duties,” Gamboa said.

'Oplan Kalinga'

Gamboa in his statement also expressed support for "Oplan Kalinga", a new government plan to assist local health officials in providing security for tracing confirmed COVID-19 patients to transfer them to isolation facilities.

Government officials have since highlighted that the operation will be led by health workers and local government personnel and not police officers as earlier mentioned.

It is still unclear whether or not it will include house-to-house operations, which lawmakers and multi-sectoral groups have said could later lead to more rights abuses, many of which have already been documented over the coronavirus pandemic. 

PNP coronavirus tally 

As of this publishing, the Philippine National Police has recorded 1,298 cases of COVID-19, to go with 1,387 suspect cases and 640 probable cases. 529 cops have recovered, though 9 have succumbed to the virus. 

The case total makes up 2.11% of the Department of Health's 61,266 documented cases, a number that has been steadily rising. On Sunday, PNP cases of the new pathogen made up 2.00% of total cases in the country. Before that, cases involving national police elements made up 1.6% of the total nationwide cases recorded by health authorities by end-June and later went up to 1.9% by the first week of July.

According to the agency's public information office, the breakdown of cases is as follows:

  • National Capital Region Police Office - 41 (3 PCOs, 38 PNCOs)
  • Police Regional Office 7    - 6   (3 PCOs, 2PNCOs, 1 NUP)
  • PRO 4A - 3   (3 PNCOs)
  • National Headquarters      - 3   (2 PNCOs, 1 NUP)
  • Highway Patrol Group   - 3   (1 PCO, 2 PNCO)
  • PRO 11 - 2   (1 PCO, 1 PNCO)
  • Communications and Electronics Service      - 1   (PCO)

The 41 new cases in the Metro Manila police office comes amid the deployment of over 300 cops, soldiers, and special commandos to assist the enforcement of Navotas City's lockdown. The recent spike also coincides with the deployment of 250 forces to assist in the enhanced community quarantine of Cebu City, which has since been called the country's coronavirus epicenter. 

According to the health department's latest update Thursday, 2,498 additional cases were added to the agency's running tally of COVID-19 cases. 

As of the health department's latest update on Wednesday, there have been 58,850 confirmed cases in the country since the virus first emerged in December. The Philippines is still enduring the longest quarantine in the world. 

Worldwide, the coronavirus disease 2019 has now sickened over 13.4 million. Some 582,000 have died as a result. 

NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
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