The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Sunday reminded all police personnel to wear face masks and face shields even inside police stations and offices as it implemented a new guideline that will help strengthen the efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus Disease (Covid-19) in the organization
Lt. Gen. Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar, PNP Deputy Chief for Administration and concurrent commander of the Administrative Support for Covid-19 Task Force, said PNP chief Gen. Debold Sinas made the instruction based on the new guideline that mandates the immediate quarantine of PNP personnel who made close contact with any personnel tested positive for the virus.
Eleazar, however, said only those who would be found not wearing face mask and face shield at the time of the close contact with Covid-infected personnel are covered by the mandatory quarantine.
“Even if they are not yet subjected to RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction), they will be immediately brought to our quarantine facilities as part of the preventive measures,” Eleazar said in a statement on Sunday.
He said the possibility of coronavirus infection is high if the police personnel made close contact with infected patient if they are not wearing face mask and face shield.
“Let this serve as a warning to all our personnel to wear both a face mask and a face shield at all times and treat everybody in the police stations, camps or PNP offices as potential carriers of the coronavirus,” he added.
The PNP earlier intensified its contact-tracing efforts by requiring all PNP personnel to have a Close Contact Diary using notebook or their smartphones. The Close Contact Diary contains the names of the people that PNP personnel would make close contact, as well as the time, date and place of the contact.
Based on the latest PNP data, a total of 9,241 PNP personnel were infected by the coronavirus since March last year and 28 of them died. The recovery rate, however, is high as 8,897 of those infected were able to fully recover. Currently, there are 316 active cases in the PNP.
“While all those who made close contact with Covid-19 positive personnel would be required to report to their respective health service units for medical assessment, our rule now is that those who would be found not wearing face mask and face shield at the time of the close contact will immediately be taken to quarantine facilities,” Eleazar said.
Eleazar also reminded all police commanders and unit heads to ensure that the minimum health safety standard protocols are always observed in their respective stations and offices. (PNA)