Three policemen were found to be infected with the feared Delta variant of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as the Philippine National Police (PNP) grapples with findings that 90 percent of its casualties were unvaccinated frontliners, a ranking official confirmed Friday, Aug. 13.
Lt. Gen. Joselito Vera Cruz, PNP deputy chief for administration and commander of Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ASCOTF), said the three cops tested positive last month and were placed under a 14-day quarantine.
The identities of the infected cops were withheld by the PNP although Cruz said their close contacts were personnel from the Aviation Security Group (AVSEGROUP). This unit is responsible in enforcing laws and regulations related to air travel, with most personnel assigned ar airports.
“They have finished their isolation. However, the results of their genome sequencing were released this August,” Cruz said.
The results of the cops’ genome sequencing showed that they had been infected with the Delta variant, Cruz noted, prompting the PNP to subject them to another round of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
“Unfortunately, one tested positive again and [is] now admitted in an LGU [local government unit] isolation facility,” the police general said.
The two other cops were on home quarantine while awaiting the results of their RT-PCR tests, he added.
The close contacts of the three cops at the PNP-AVSEGROUP were also subjected to RT-PCR test.
“So far, their close contacts tested negative based on the RT-PCR tests as reported by the AVSEGROUP,” he said.
Meanwhile, Cruz revealed that 90 percent of policemen who died of COVID-19 did not received a single dose of vaccine which was supposed to provide frontliners with an additional layer of protection.
PNP data from Cruz said that as of Thursday, 81 out of the total 88 cops who died of COVID-19 were unvaccinated.
But on Friday, another fatality was recorded by the PNP, raising the death toll to 89. The latest casualty was not yet included in the profiling of the PNP.
According to Thursday’s data, five casualties (6 percent) had incomplete vaccination after they received only one dose of COVID-19 shot, two more (2 percent) received a flu vaccine, and another two (2 percent) had pneumococcal vaccine.
He said 62 percent of the fatalities had community-acquired pneumonia, the largest contributor among the additional risks that were encountered by the fallen cops.
Majority of the casualties were also elderly cops.
Fifty-four casualties (61 percent) fell under the age bracket 46 to 55 years old, 27 cops (31 percent) were aged 36 to 45 years old, four cops (5 percent) were aged between 26 to 35 years old; and three cops (3 percent) were aged 56 to 65 years old.
Eighty-one cops (92 percent) who succumbed to COVID-19 were male while seven others (eight percent) were female.
The PNP has so far recorded more than 32,000 cases of COVID-19; of the figure, 1,800 are active cases while 30,000 are deemed recovered patients.