Police use social media to monitor quarantine violations

The Joint Task Force COVID Shield said on Sunday that the focus of their social media monitoring is large groups of people who blatantly defy the quarantine protocols by engaging in drinking sessions, holding parties and illegal gambling activities that are even posted in social media accounts.
Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, commander of the JTF COVID Shield, said large gatherings do not only violate the protocols  but are also dangerous amid the continuous threat of the coronavirus.
He then cited at least three cases of quarantine violations that compromised the safety of all those who attended the drinking session and parties.
Eleazar said that prior to the Cebu City lockdown, there was a drinking session in one of the barangays. One of the participants turned out to be positive for coronavirus and a number of people in the barangay got infected as a result.
In Iloilo, he said a policeman waiting for the result of a swab test engaged in a drinking session with friends. Days later, his results revealed that he is positive for coronavirus.
The third case, according to Eleazar, happened in Navotas City wherein a family held a party for friends and neighbors—one of them turned out to be a virus carrier. As a result, 10 of those who attended got infected, and one patient died.
Eleazar said large gatherings are still dangerous since people do not know whether or not any person who they would mingle with is already a coronavirus carrier.
“As what the experts have been saying, part of the safety measures is to treat people as potential virus carriers. In this case, we are monitoring quarantine violations of these kind because they are really dangerous," said Eleazar.
The JTF COVID Shield earlier instructed police commanders to monitor social media posts for possible violations of quarantine protocols in their areas through uploaded photos and videos of drinking sessions, parties and other mass gatherings.
Eleazar stressed that the move is in support of the ground operations they are conducting to enforce the quarantine rules such as manning checkpoints, conducting patrols and implementation of curfew and other ordinances relating to the COVID-19.