MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday said 78 police officers have so far tested positive for the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
As of Thursday, PNP Health Service director Brig. Gen. Herminio Tadeo Jr. said there are also 580 suspected and 96 probable Covid-19 cases in the police force.
To date, 12 already recovered while the death toll stands at three.
Meanwhile, PNP spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, said the PNP enforces heightened enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) measures particularly in areas where there are high cases of Covid-19 infection.
He said PNP chief, Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa ordered the enforcement of heightened ECQ measures in collaboration with the military.
The PNP, in coordination with the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Department of Health, is also tasked to lead the contact tracing of positive, probable, and suspected Covid-19 cases in the country.
“As the PNP increases its presence as part of heightened ECQ measures and now includes Covid-19 contact tracing throughout the country, the exposure of our personnel to the pandemic increases. Thus, we will intensify monitoring of Covid-19 cases among our PNP personnel and will strictly implement PNP-wide Biosafety Plan in all PNP camps, headquarters, precincts including ECQ checkpoints,” Banac said in a media statement.
Aside from the immediate arrest of ECQ violators, he said the PNP will also intensify arrest for hoarding, profiteering, manipulation of prices, spreading of fake news, cyber fraud, and will also arrest those caught harassing or discriminating against our front-line health workers.
“To all our countrymen do your part as home liners by staying at home throughout this heightened lockdown,” said Banac.
On Friday, President Rodrigo Duterte has extended anew the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila and other select areas that are considered high risk for Covid-19.
In a recorded public address aired over state-run PTV-4 on Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte approved the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) to extend the ECQ until May 15 in areas with high cases of Covid-19 to effectively stop the contagion.
Roque said ECQ would be maintained in Metro Manila, Benguet, Pangasinan, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Quezon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Albay, and Catanduanes, Davao del Norte, and Davao City. (PNA)