PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief, General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar yesterday said they have stepped up their monitoring of ‘active COVID-19 cases’ in the police force where 96 personnel have already died after contracting the killer virus since March last year.
The PNP leadership expressed belief that the number of COVID-19 positive policemen may rise amid their all-out efforts to ensure the testing of all its personnel nationwide. The program is being supervised by the Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force headed by PNP Deputy Chief for Administration, Lieutenant Gen. Joselito M. Vera Cruz.
Gen. Eleazar said they are progressing on their move to test their men for the virus specifically those assigned in Metro Manila.
“But because of this aggressive testing, maraming nagpa-positive kaya nga ang focus namin is to have a more effective contact tracing dito sa NHQ and with the help of the different Station Health Units of the PNP,” the top cop said.
He also asked his men to be extra cautious as they continue their anti-criminality campaign while strictly enforcing IATF health protocols in NCR Plus and the rest of the country to help reduce the further spread of COVID-19 especially its more dangerous Delta variant.
“Tatlong kaso ng Delta variant ang naitala sa aming hanay at sa ngayon ay nakatutok ang aming Health Service sa kanila upang tugunan ang kanilang pangangailangan para sa mabilis na paggaling, at kasama na rin dito ang agresibong contact-tracing upang tukuyin kung sino ang kanilang naging close contact,” Gen. Eleazar said.
Lt. Gen. Vera Cruz said that based on a study conducted by the PNP Health Service, 90 percent of the PNP’s COVID-19 casualties are unvaccinated.
Lt. Gen. Vera Cruz said that five of those who died were found to have already been given their first dose of vaccine but have existing comorbidities.
The official said that 62 percent of the casualties were due to Community-Acquired Pneumonia. The PNP-HS study also showed that 61 percent of the casualties are under the 46-55 age group. He added that 92 percent of the total COVID-19 fatalities in the force are all male police personnel.
On Tuesday, the PNP recorded four more COVID-19 deaths bringing to 96 the number of police personnel who have passed away after contacting the dreaded virus since March last year.
This prompted Gen. Eleazar to further raise the alarm bell in the force and strongly reiterate his guidance to all PNP personnel to be vaccinated against CoVID-19, follow health protocols, and not to self-medicate.
As of Tuesday, Gen. Eleazar said that a total of 81,125 or 36.51 percent of the police force are now fully vaccinated while 95,345 or 42.92 percent are just awaiting their 2nd dose.
With this, there are only 45,700 or 20.57 percent police personnel who have not been vaccinated, the PNP chief said.
“Paulit-ulit po ang ating paalala sa lahat ng pulis na magpabakuna. Isa po ito sa ating proteksyon laban sa naturang virus. Bukod dito, pinaaalalahan rin natin na sumunod pa rin tayo sa minimum health protocols tulad ng pagsusuot ng face mask/face shield at paghugas ng kamay,” Gen. Eleazar added.
The PNP-HS headed by Brigadier Gen. Luisito P. Magnaye also recorded 176 new policemen who have contracted the disease bringing the total number of cases in the PNP to 32,631 with 1,985 ‘active cases.’
However, there were also 157 recoveries raising the total of policemen who have fully recovered from the virus and are now back to full duty status to 30,550.
Last month, there were only 80 COVID-19 deaths in the PNP since March last year. However, since last August 1, there were an additional 16 new deaths, three of them Police Commissioned Officers and the nine all Police Non-Commissioned Officers.
The officers who died after contracting the virus include a Lieutenant Colonel, a Police Captain and a Police Lieutenant
Of the 96 fatalities, six are from the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame; seven from different PNP National Operational Support Units; 22 from different National Operational Support Units; and 62 from the different Police Regional Offices.
The National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) recorded the biggest number of fatalities with 19 followed by seven from the Police Regional Office 7 (PRO7) in Central Visayas; six from the PRO4-A in Calabarzon region; four each from PRO3 in Central Luzon, PRO6 in Western Visayas and PRO9 in Western Mindanao; and three each from PRO10 in Northern Mindanao; PRO11 in Southern Mindanao; PRO12 in Central Mindanao and the Bangsamoro Administrative Region.