Security tightened in Sulu over Delta threat

Emmanuel Tupas (The Philippine Star) - July 22, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has tightened security in Sulu archipelago due to the threat of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19.

PNP chief Gen. Guillermo Eleazar ordered police commanders in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (BAR) to strictly monitor the country’s territorial waters against people attempting to enter the country through the backdoor.

Eleazar said the PNP Maritime Group should assist local police units in conducting regular seaborne patrols.

“We have to be strict... para hindi tayo mapasukan,” the PNP chief said in an interview over ANC.

Eleazar instructed police commanders to coordinate with concerned local government units in the implementation of COVID-19 protocols.

He said there has been no report of people infected with the Delta variant who have entered the country illegally, but the PNP is not taking any chances.

“All our regional directors as well as our unit commanders are aware of this particular threat,” he said.

Eleazar said the PNP is preparing its isolation and medical facilities in the event of a surge in cases.

He said police are also willing to serve as additional contact tracers.

“We will coordinate with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health so we can determine how many additional contact tracers are needed,” Eleazar said.

National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. had earlier said the BAR would get more COVID-19 vaccines.

He stressed the need to protect the region due to its proximity to Indonesia and Malaysia, which are experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.

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