Almost 6,000 cops have contracted COVID-19

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Almost 6,000 cops have contracted COVID-19

(Philstar.com) – October 1, 2020 – 10:51am

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police logged an additional 61 cases of COVID-19 among its personnel on Wednesday night.

The total number of cops who have contracted the virus now stands at 5,990. Of these, 1189 are active, according to the PNP.

Meanwhile, 75 new recoveries were reported by the agency, bringing the total number to 4,784.

Deaths among police remained at 17, with Thursday’s figures reporting no new fatalities.

Last Friday, PNP said two of its major COVID-19 task forces would work together to better safeguard cops assigned to mega quarantine facilities.

Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of the Joint Task Force Shield, confirmed this in a statement released to reporters, after cases among police breached 5,600 as of the night before. Since then, cases have increased by over 300.

According to Eleazar, “their first course of action with the PNP’s Administrative Support for COVID-19 Task Force (ACOTF) [is] to inspect all the quarantine and swabbing facilities being managed and supervised by the PNP.” ASCOTF is led by Police Lt. Gen. Cesar Hawthorne Binag.

The facilities inspected were Philsports Arena in Pasig City, the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) and the Mall of Asia Mega Quarantine Facility, both located in Pasay City.

“The guidelines given by the Chief PNP, Police General Camilo Pancratius Cascolan is for the two task forces, the JTF COVID Shield and the ASCOTF, to coordinate closely so as to ensure that the mandate will be pursued and followed,” Eleazar said.

PNP said this new initiative forms part of “buddy system” which was initiated by Gen. Camilo Cascolan, the country’s top cop, “in order for top officials of the PNP to work together in improving the services to the people.”

“In the case of the response on COVID-19, the ‘buddy system’ was between PLt. Gen. Eleazar and PLt. Gen. Binag who are both members of the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) Class 1987,” the agency’s statement further read.

Eleazar said this new effort will “maximize the implementation of the government’s action plans not only to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but also in looking over the welfare of those who take care of the infected Filipinos.”

Latest data from the Department of Health shows that 311,694 Filipinos have contracted novel coronavirus while deaths induced by the virus are at 5,504.

It has been 198 days since the Philippines was first put under lockdown, one of the longest quarantine periods in the world. Despite this, thousands of new COVID-19 cases are added to the national caseload daily. — Bella Perez-Rubio