COVID-19 infections among cops now at 8,702

Christian Deiparine (Philstar.com) – December 20, 2020 – 3:27pm

MANILA, Philippines — Coronavirus infections among the country’s police force have reached 8,702, nearly 10 months since they were tasked to carry out pandemic-related curbs. 

The Philippine National Police reported 33 additional cases among its personnel on Saturday, with 408 of the total figure accounting for its active cases.

Some 8,267 to date have since recovered, while deaths have reached 27.

PNP has so far reported 557 new COVID-19 cases for December, with only 10 days left before the year ends.

Last month, it reported around 946 additional infections with no bulletin on November 12.

More cops had been deployed in various places as the country looked to reopen its economy that suffered as a result of the pandemic. 

President Rodrigo Duterte has moved to include the police and military among those to be prioritized to get the first COVID-19 vaccines that are seen to arrive in the country by March 2021.

Per government figures, personnel from the PNP, AFP, Coast Guard, Bureau of Fire Protection and the Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit comprise 525,523 of the 24.7 million which will be inoculated in the first part of the country’s vaccination program.

PNP has so two coronavirus testing laboratories in its headquarters at Camp Crame in Quezon City, that have a 420-capacity for swab tests per day.

Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, deputy chief for administration, had said that they are eyeing to conduct mass testing for the police force to prevent transmission within its ranks.

“We are now coming up with a protocol to test as many of our personnel. Priority areas of these aggressive testing are Metro Manila and other areas with high COVID-19 cases,” he announced on December 13.

Duterte in mid-March tasked the PNP and AFP to implement the hard lockdowns he imposed in a bid to control the spread of the virus that has infected nearly 460,000 to date.

His administration had since faced criticism that it is militarizing its response to a public health crisis, something that officials have sought to deny despite ex-military officials also leading the coronavirus task force.

Virus-related restrictions have been eased in various areas throughout the country, but Metro Manila, Batangas, Lanao del Sur and Davao del Norte as well as the cities of Iloilo, Tacloban, Iligan and Davao remain under GCQ. 

The Philippines’ community quarantine has long been dubbed as the world’s longest, even longer than that of Wuhan in China, where the COVID-19 originated, at 76 days of lockdown. — with reports from Franco Luna



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