By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing a decontamination protocol for all its personnel assigned in the quarantine control points and other areas considered as frontlines in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said the setting up of decontamination protocol is just one of the stringent actions that are now conducting to ensure the safety of uniformed police personnel.
“There is always a probability that any police officer assigned in Luzon may contract the virus while performing his or her assigned duty,” said Gamboa.
On Tuesday, the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) confirmed that a rookie cop assigned to the Manila Police District tested positive on COVID-19.
All the policemen who had a close contact with the policeman were ordered to go on a 14-day quarantine while the police station where the cop is assigned was immediately disinfected.
“A PNP-wide Biosafety Plan is now being observed in Camp Crame and all PNP camps,” said Gamboa.
One of the measures now being done at Camp Crame is the spraying of disinfectants to all the tires of vehicles entering the camp.
The PNP is now crafting the decontamination protocol and the target are the returning cops who were sent to the frontlines.
PUMs and PUI
The PNP Health Service is keeping tab of 615 PNP personnel considered as Persons Under Monitoring (PUM) and 45 more personnel listed as Persons Under Investigation (PUI), according to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.
Banac said those under monitoring include an officer with a rank of colonel.
A priest assigned to the PNP Health Service also tested positive and is now confined in a hospital in Metro Manila.
Maj. Duds Santos, officer-in-charge of the PNP Health Service, said another police priest is now under quarantine after having close contact.
Gamboa assured all police personnel that National Headquarters will always provide as much as it demands from the officers and rank-and-file.
“We are instituting strict measures to prevent its spread among our back end and front line personnel, such as provision of minimum Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for all frontline personnel; continuous contact tracing and self-quarantine; stringent social distancing including maximum use of teleconferencing of key leaders,” said Gamboa.
“Be assured that I’m doing everything in my power to provide you with all necessary support and resources to ensure your health and safety as you do your job in the best way possible. I expect all leaders at all levels to do the same for all personnel under their command,” he added.