PNP to conduct tracing of individuals who had direct contact with COVID-19 patients

Maris Federez   •   July 16, 2020   •   142

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has belied reports that they will be searching for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) positive patients as if they are running after fugitives.

In a phone interview, PNP spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac clarified that they are not the ones heading the house-to-house search for individuals infected with the virus but the barangay or city health workers.

Banac added that their role in the contact tracing is to provide escort to the infected individuals who will be advised to go to COVID-19 facilities.

“Mangunguna pa rin talaga ang mga local health workers natin at ang pagbabasehan n’yan ay of course ‘yung mga listahan nila ng mga positive cases, so sila talaga ang nakakaalam n’yan,” Banac said.

Banac, however, added that they will be conducting a thorough search of individuals who had direct contact with those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to prevent the further spread of the deadly virus.

“Ang pinatutungkulan ni PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa ay yung pamamaraan ng contact tracing kung saan ito ay pinangunahan ni Mayor Benjie Magalong. ‘Yung sistema ng paghahanap ng mga possible na mga exposure sa Covid-19, hindi ito ‘yung tungkol doon sa pagsundo ng mga positive cases na,” he said.

Joint Task Force Coronavirus (JTF CV) Shield Commander PLtGen. Guillermo Eleazar also reiterated that the role of the police is just to provide escort to the barangay or city health workers in locating and picking up those who are positive for COVID-19.

“Ang role ng ating PNP ay para tumulong sa ating LGU through their health officers or workers kasi sila ang nakakaalam kung sino ‘yung mga pasyente na positive na para dalhin sa mga isolation facilities,” Eleazar said. — (with inputs from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf

PNP won’t arrest quarantine violators in first 3 days of MECQ period

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 6, 2020

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said they will not conduct any arrest during the first three days of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa said they will implement maximum tolerance at all times and will only serve warnings to quarantine violators during the three-day headstart. This would give the public time to adjust to the National Capital Region’s shift to MECQ.

“Bibigyan natin ang publiko ng swift warning on the first initial days of violations kasi kung nag-adjust ang PNP, nag-aadjust din sila and ang reminder ko lang ay maximum tolerance on the part of the PNP especially the women and elderly kung may lalabas man na elderly (We will give the public a swift warning in the first initial days of violations because if the PNP has to adjust, so do they. My only reminder is maximum tolerance on the part of the PNP especially for the women and the elderly),” he said.

The PNP Chief also reminds the public to cooperate with authorities and not provoke any officers.

“Sana naman the public will cooperate, para hindi mapilitan ang PNP na mag impose ng regulation. So please, we want the cooperation of the public para maiwasan natin ang confrontation sa checkpoint (I hope the public will cooperate and not force the PNP to impose regulation. So we want the cooperation of the public to avoid confrontation at checkpoints),” Gamboa said.

Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Bulacan have been placed under MECQ until August 18. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

QC releases guidelines to speed up contact tracing in large companies

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 31, 2020

The Quezon City Government has released the guidelines it has drafted to expedite contact tracing of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in large companies.

QC Mayor Joy Belmonte said this is to further contain the virus and minimize the employee risk of infection and economic effects of COVID-19.

Based on the guidelines, an individual is considered a close contact if he or she had face-to-face contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within one-meter distance, for more than 15 minutes and within a 14 day period from the confirmed case’s onset of symptoms.

Those in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case should undergo a 14-day quarantine and should undertake the swab testing if he or she is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

“In either case, close contacts should not be allowed to report for work immediately upon identification as such, and should be required to self-isolate at home,” Belmonte said.

Companies are also mandated to require their employees to list down all usual close contacts, both inside and outside work, even prior to any confirmed or suspect COVID-19 case.

“Companies are also mandated to provide the City Epidemiological Surveillance Unit (CESU), through qcsurveillance@quezoncity.gov.ph, with updates regarding confirmed cases and close contacts among the workforce,” the guidelines also stated. AAC

4 PAF personnel dead after helicopter crash in Isabela

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 24, 2020

Four members of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) perished in a helicopter crash in Cauayan City, Isabela on Thursday (July 23).

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said five personnel were onboard the Huey Helicopter. They were conducting proficiency training for night flying in the vicinity of the Tactical Operations Group-2 area in Cauayan City when the accident happened.

“The two pilots, the other officer, and one of the two aircrew perished. The other airman survived the crash and is now undergoing treatment,” the AFP said in a statement.

The names of the victims are withheld until their relatives have been notified, the AFP added.

Meanwhile, AFP Chief General Felimon Santos, Jr. expresses deep grief and extends condolences and prayers to the families and colleagues of the airmen who perished in this air operations mishap. AAC (with reports from Lea Ylagan)

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