THE Philippine National Police on Wednesday recorded its 126th COVID-19 fatality, the first case since the year started.
The PNP Health Service also reported 323 new COVID-19 cases yesterday bringing to 46,291 the total number of police personnel who have contracted the virus since March last year although 42,550 of them are already fully recovered and are now back to full duty status.
PNP-HS director, Brigadier General Antonino R. Cirujales said they also recorded 503 new recoveries although they are monitoring 3,615 ‘active cases’ to date.
PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and the concurrent chair of the Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force, Lieutenant Gen. Joselito M. Vera Cruz said that as of Wednesday, a total of 217,034 police personnel or 96.33 percent of entire strength are already fully vaccinated while 7,173 or 3.18 percent are already waiting for their 2nd dose.
A total of 1,107 or 0.49 percent are yet to be inoculated, 512 of them with valid reasons and 595 without a valid reason.
“Based on the data of our Health Service, the 287 rooms in Kiangan Emergency Treatment Facility and other facilities were fully occupied but we can still accommodate thru room sharing especially for families who got infected. Others will now be transferred to other isolation facilities within NCR, both PNP, and LGU-owned,” Lt. Gen. Vera Cruz earlier said.
The official added that the PNP is still waiting for the formal guidelines of the Department of Health on shortened isolation period to decongest the facilities.
Gen. Carlos earlier ordered an expansion of their quarantine facilities inside Camp Crame and in the different Regional Police Offices to cater to more personnel and their dependents infected with the virus.
The PNP already allows its personnel to go on home isolation following the health protocols with the condition that they must submit a regular report of their medical condition to the monitoring medical team.
Gen. Carlos has also ordered the PNP to continue monitoring their cases round-the-clock.
“We have our deployment strategy that in case a member of the police unit will be isolated, those who are not in contact with him/her will take over. Of course, swab testing is a regular thing for us,” the top cop said.
More policemen are being added to the list of those who have caught the virus every day as police continue to be exposed to the disease as they strictly enforce government quarantine rules and regulations nationwide to prevent the further spread of the virus and its more deadly variants.
Police for the first time are also enforcing a nationwide gun ban under the new normal prompting Gen. Carlos to order his men to fully exercise caution in dealing with the public and strictly comply with minimum public health safety protocols specifically the mandatory wearing of face masks at all times and frequent washing of hands.
Last week, a total of 188 members of the PNP Headquarters Support Service, better known as the Camp Crame base policemen were reported to have contracted COVID-19 so far this year and are now undergoing quarantine.
Colonel Clifford B. Gairanod, the PNP-HSS director himself got the virus two weeks ago but has been cleared for work by PNP doctors after undergoing full quarantine.
PNP-HSS personnel also were the ones who constructed two additional quarantine facilities at the PNP Training Service compound and one at the PNP Badminton Court this year. Last year, they also built the quarantine facilities in Kiangan Hall, the Provident Office, and the PNP Gymnasium.