More than half of the more than 2,000 active coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the Philippine National Police (PNP) involved policemen who are assigned in Metro Manila, a senior police official said on Monday, March 29.
Quoting data from the PNP Health Service, Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo T. Eleazar, commander of the PNP Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF), said of the 2,157 active cases as of March 28, a total of 1,356 of them are assigned in the National Capital Region.
He said the active cases in Metro Manila alone represent 62.9% of the total active cases in the PNP.
Of the 2,157 active cases, a total of 1,255 of them are currently staying inside the PNP-owned and PNP-managed isolation facilities while 840 personnel are inside the non-PNP isolation facilities, particularly the isolation facilities of the Local Government Units (LGUs).
On the other hand, a total of 62 PNP personnel who tested positive for coronavirus are confined in various private and public hospitals across the country.
On the other hand, Eleazar said a total of 1,159 of the active cases were recorded in the 17 Police Regional Offices of the PNP—the highest was at the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) with 564, followed by Police Regional Office 3 (Central Luzon) with 105, Police Regional Office 1 (Ilocos Region) and Police Regional Office 4A (CALABARZON) both with 84 cases, and Police Regional Office 7 (Central Visayas) with 82 cases.
All PNP PROs have active cases—the lowest was the PRO Bangsamoro Autonomous Region with five active cases, eight cases for both the PRO5 (Bicol) and PRO10 (Northern Mindanao) and seven cases in PRO12 (Central Mindanao).
In terms of the general distribution of the 2,157 active cases, 492 of the active cases inside Camp Crame which represents 22.8% of the total active cases; 864 of them are outside Camp Crame but within Metro Manila which represents 40.1% of the active cases; while the remaining 801 cases, which represents 37.1% of the total active cases, are in the provinces.
On Monday, Eleazar also ordered all regional commanders of the PNP Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF) to look for more isolation facilities in their respective Areas of Responsibility as part of the contingency measures amid the continuous rise of coronavirus infection in the police organization.
“We need to be prepared at all times to ensure the welfare of our personnel who would be infected by the virus. As frontliners in the fight to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, our personnel are risking their own health safety and even their life in the performance of their mandate. The least that we could do is to assure them that we would be there for them and extend all the necessary support if in case they themselves are infected,” said Eleazar.
He said contingency measures are needed especially that the PNP has been recording a significant increase in the number of COVID-19 cases since March 15 this year. On March 26, the PNP recorded its highest COVID-19 cases reported in a day with 316.
Eleazar explained that the immediate and full support system for PNP personnel infected by the coronavirus are necessary not only to prevent the spread of the virus in the police organization but also to assure a high recovery rate.
“Since last year, the full support system for our personnel has resulted in the high recovery rate for the PNP. Based on our data, more than 12,200 of the 14,456 COVID-19 cases in the PNP were able to fully recover,” said Eleazar.
At Camp Crame, Eleazar said they have already set up more isolation facilities, including 100-bed capacity at the PNP Tennis Court which became operational on March 27 and the Provident Fund/Peace Process and Development Office with 47 bed capacity which became operational on March 28.
Other new isolation facilities that include the PNP Taekwondo gym with 40-bed capacity will be available on April 1.