By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY—A total of 27 cops under the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) have been isolated after two of their colleagues tested positive for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
“We are isolating the two and those who may have come in contact with them to ensure that appropriate protocols are observed,” said ICPO Director Police Col. Eric Dampal in a statement released Wednesday, June 17.
The 32-year-old and 22-year-old policemen were among the six new cases recorded June 16 by the Western Visayas regional office of the Department of Health (DOH-6).
“This is quite unfortunate, but this is part of the risk of being a frontline worker,” said Dampal.
The two policemen were both assigned in Manduriao district. One of the two was detailed outside the Western Visayas Medical Center, the DOH-run hospital that is designated as the health facility for serious COVID-19 cases, while the other was detailed at a hotel that served as isolation facility for repatriated overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
They were both asymptomatic, and were among the ICPO policemen and non-uniform personnel who underwent swab testing conducted by the Iloilo City government under Mayor Jerry Treñas.
ICPO Spokesperson Police Captain Shella Mae Sangrines told Manila Bulletin that the 27 policemen have been transferred to an isolation facility of the city government.
Sangrines explained that it was easy to trace the 27 policemen because ICPO had particularly given them assignments where they would be posted. One of those infected had 21 colleagues traced as his close contacts, while the other had six.
Sangrines also clarified that the Iloilo City Health Office (ICHO) was also conducting contact tracing on others outside the police force that the infected policemen may have had contact with.
Meanwhile, ICHO is also taking swab samples of other policemen assigned at Mandurriao police station.
“We assure that we are strictly adhering to the health stands and protocols while in at the performance of our duties and responsibilities during this time of pandemic,” Dampal added.