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PNP discourages ‘super- spreader’ Xmas parties

December 16, 2021 Alfred P. Dalizon 353 views

PNPAMID fears they could turn into ‘super-spreader events,’ Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, General Dionardo B. Carlos has discouraged the holding of traditional Christmas parties in the country which is still battling threats posed by COVID-19 and its more deadly variants.

“The PNP discourages the holding of traditional Christmas gathering among family members, co-workers, schoolmates and circle of friends while the threat of COVID-19 and its variants continue to raise public health concerns,” the top cop said.

“We reiterate the advice of health officials to limit Christmas gatherings within the family bubble and close circle of vaccinated friends with due regard to minimum public health standards and safety protocol at all times,” he added.

However, Carlos said that if some really won’t be persuaded from calling their parties off , they must at least ensure they will follow minimum public health standards under the nationwide Alert Level 2 condition.

“The PNP’s priority this holiday season is to safeguard the peace and order situation in our country. And if there is a gathering of persons, I strongly advise everyone to follow the protocols set by the Health department,” he said.

Despite the easing of some restrictions in human movement and activities under Alert Level 2, the PNP still supports the call of the Department of Health (DOH) to hold holiday parties online, Carlos said.

“This will ensure that everyone can be protected by not coming together so there will be less chances of a virus spread amid the threat of the Omicron variant,” he said.

Nevertheless, the PNP chief said he has ordered his men to strictly monitor public places where parties can transpire.

“If there is blatant violation of the health protocol, then the police personnel will take the necessary action against the party goers and establishment owners,” he said.

The PNP chief also reminded the public to make it a habit to wear a face mask especially in public areas and maintain physical distancing.

At the same time, the top cop said he has also ordered his field commanders to ensure that apart from securing big political gatherings, they should also remind candidates and their supporters to see to it that IATF protocols will be followed to the hilt to prevent the further spread of the virus.

“We will do our part to ensure that IATF rules, all necessary precautions are followed. We might intervene too if there will be great risks,” Carlos said.

The PNP chief said that while they are calling on all their personnel to get vaccinated, they also want the public going to Camp Crame and other police headquarters and camps to see to it that they are also inoculated and comply with minimum health safety protocols.

At present, guests and visitors of different offices in Camp Crame are required to undergo a temperature check and present a vaccination card. Alcohol is also provided to the visitors.

Guests in official PNP programs are also required to undergo an antigen test.

As of yesterday, more than 95 percent of the 225,592–strong police force are now fully vaccinated with nearly 5 percent already waiting for their 2nd jab.

Carlos has also ordered the PNP Health Service headed by Brigadier Gen. Antonino R. Cirujales to continue convincing the nearly 1,600 other police personnel who are yet to be inoculated to get the vaccine to protect them from the deadly COVID-19 virus.

“Slowly, we are seeing that there is a narrowing of the gap between those vaccinated and unvaccinated personnel. We hope to convince every member of the more than 222,000 PNP force to be vaccinated to protect themselves and their family from the virus threat,” said the PNP chief.

Aside from the benefits of the vaccine, the PNP would also like to avoid the eventuality of prohibiting their unvaccinated personnel from reporting to duty in accord with the IATF resolution on the ‘no vax, no work rule.’

Booster shots were already administered by the PNP-HS to some personnel who are directly involved in the medical frontline.