GENERAL SANTOS CITY (PNA) – Police authorities here have launched an investigation into the reported breach in quarantine protocol by a returning resident, who tested positive last week for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Col. Aden Lagradante, city police director, said Friday they received confirmation that the male patient, who returned home last July 30 due to the death of his mother, was a member of the Quezon City Central Police District (QCPD).
He directed the city police’s investigation and detection management branch to look into the movements and actions made by the policeman.
Based on protocol, he said the patient should have complied with the mandatory 21-day quarantine in a designated isolation facility as set by the local government.
But the policeman and another sibling were fetched by a city official from the isolation center hours upon arrival, and brought to their home to continue their quarantine despite an ongoing wake for their deceased mother.
The cop turned out positive for Covid-19 on Aug. 7, triggering concerns of possible transmission to his family members and other persons who visited his mother’s wake.
“I’m really disappointed because the policeman should have considered the consequences of such action,” Lagradante told reporters.
The official said they will submit the results of the investigation to the Philippine National Police (PNP) central office for appropriate action.
The city’s Inter-Agency Task Force the Management of Emerging and Re-merging Infectious Diseases, on orders from Mayor Ronnel Rivera, launched an investigation earlier into the reported protocol breach.
The mayor confirmed that it was City Councilor Rosalita Nunez, a friend of the family, who intervened and fetched the siblings from the quarantine facility, in violation of the city’s quarantine protocol.
It was initially reported that the City Health Office, through epidemiology and surveillance head Dr. Lalaine Calonzo, issued clearance for the home quarantine but she had denied them.
“The investigation is ongoing and we’re making adjustments at the same time to make sure that it will not happen again,” Rivera said in an interview.
The mayor said they have yet to discuss the legal aspect of the incident but said the quarantine violators could face charges based on the provisions of Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.