PHILIPPINE National Police (PNP) chief General Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar on Saturday urged his men and the rest of the general public to be extra cautious after local cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant have been recorded in the country.
“The detection of the Delta variant in the country serves as a warning to all of us against complacency. Nakita na natin ang epekto nito sa India at ito ngayon ay seryosong banta sa kapitbahay nating bansa na Indonesia. Again, the success and failure of our efforts to prevent the spread of this more transmissible and more deadly variant is on our hands: by strictly observing the tried-and-tested observance of the minimum public health safety protocol,” the top cop said.
According to the PNP chief, they would continue their mandate to enforce health and safety protocols outlined by the national government to prevent the spread of the infection despite the growing number of members of the police force who have succumbed to the virus or have contracted it since March last year.
As of Saturday morning, the PNP Health Service said it recorded the 78th COVID-19 fatality in the force with 47 new cases reported.
To date, there are a total of 29,245 members of the PNP who have contracted the virus, although 27,852 of them have fully recovered from the diseases and are now back to full duty status.
The Department of Health said 16 new Delta variant cases have been detected, including five returning overseas Filipinos and 11 local cases, bringing the total number to 35.
Meanwhile, some areas have shifted back to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to prevent further COVID-19 transmissions. Iloilo province and the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Gingoog have been placed under the strictest quarantine classification until July 31.
“Sa panig ng PNP, patuloy kaming nakikipag-ugnayan sa IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) at sa NTF (National Task Force Against COVID-19) upang i-review kung ano ang dapat i-review, at palakasin pa kung ano ang mga dapat pang palakasin sa aspeto ng pagpapatupad ng mga alituntunin para sa kaligtasan nating lahat,” said Eleazar.
He also tasked police personnel manning quarantine control points to be more vigilant and heighten security measures to help in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus and its variants.
He likewise reminded concerned police units to ensure that rules under ECQ would strictly be enforced specifically the mandatory wearing of face masks and face shields and social distancing.