By Aaron Recuenco
The Philippine National Police (PNP) is setting up its own RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test center for all members of the police force, particularly those deployed on the frontlines to enforce coronavirus disease (COVID-19) measures.
PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said they have installed their own RT-PCR test center, which he said has passed the standards of the Department of Health (DOH).
“Why do we have to do this? Why do we have to fund this? Because we want to take care of our own people, we do not want to ask the national government to do the testing for us,” Gamboa said.
A total of 89 policemen have tested positive for the coronavirus; three of them have died while 13 recovered. Some 559 more policemen were suspected to be positive, while 199 were considered probable cases of COVID-19.
Gamboa said the test center is still not operational, because the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) earlier deferred the training of police health workers to run the tests after more than 40 of RITM’s staff tested positive for coronavirus.
“We have four members of our Health Service who are undergoing training. After that, hopefully we are going to operate our own RT-PCR,” Gamboa said.