By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) has implemented a ‘wear a mask and wash’ policy for all its operating units as part of the measure to protect policemen amid threat of infection from the 2019 novel corona virus acute respiratory syndrome (2019-nCoV ARD).
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said that while he does not think the virus could easily infect policemen, there is a need to protect them as a precautionary measure.
“What should be considered is just the protection of policemen,” Gamboa said in a press briefing on Monday at Camp Crame in Quezon City. He made the statement amid concern for the welfare of the policemen directly dealing with POGO (Philippine offshore gaming operators)-related operations.
Among the PNP units, it is the Anti-Kidnapping Group and the Southern Police District of Metro Manila that usually deal with POGO-related criminal incidents.
“The basic thing that they could do is just to wear masks and wash their hands after the operation,” Gamboa said.
He added that despite the 2019-nCoV ARD threat, police will continue their active operations against illegal gambling, prostitution, and kidnappings.
In line with the move to protect cops from the threat of virus infection, Gamboa said he has directed all regional and national support unit directors to make available individual face masks for all PNP personnel and provision for hand sanitizers in PNP offices and facilities.
“In addition, the PNP is seriously considering the temporary lockdown of all our training facilities to ensure the safety and protection of cadets and trainees in these facilities,” Gamboa said, adding that there will be no lockdown of police camps and stations.
“Meantime, I would like to echo the call of our health authorities to remain calm and informed amid this global public health emergency, and instead focus attention and effort in promoting personal hygiene, and strengthening of the immune system thru proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle,” Gamboa said.