The Philippine National Police (PNP) has started preparing for any changes in the implementation of the quarantine protocols amid the threat of the new variant which the World Health Organization (WHO) now calls Omicron.
PNP chief Gen. Dionardo Carlos said that strict implementation of quarantine protocols is not something new, having imposed it during the onset of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in March last year and that of the Delta variant.
“We’ve been there, done that. The implementation of the strictest quarantine protocol is not new to us and the PNP is always ready to go back to our deployment template,” said Carlos.
But what makes it difficult, according to Carlos, is the current situation wherein the country is heading towards the election season.
“There will be mobilization of supporters but we need to strike a balance between allowing them to freely express their inherent political right and the need to suppress the spread of the virus,” said Carlos.
“Once this happens, we will seek the guidance of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) on the possible adjustment in the campaign guidelines,” he added.
The government has already ordered a travel ban from inbound passengers coming from South Africa and other countries where the Omicron variant was detected.
The Omicron variant is believed to be more transmissible than the Delta variant.
“The PNP has been willing to coordinate, too, with other agencies in providing security to the different entry points of the country,” said Carlos.