21 cops positive for COVID
CEBU, Philippines — Less than a week after two detainees at Cebu City Police Office Station 6 in Barangay Sawang Calero tested positive for COVID-19, 21 personnel of that station were found to have also contracted the virus.
Police Regional Office-7 Director Brigadier General Ignatius Ferro told reporters yesterday that the 21 new cases from the police station consist of 16 police personnel, three non-uniformed personnel, and two station strikers or errand boys.
He said most of the patients are asymptomatic or not showing physical signs of the disease.
“They (new patients) were transferred last night or early dawn this (yesterday) morning to the nearby Don Vicente Rama National High School,” Ferro said.
The new cases form part of the 56 people who underwent swab testing last week after two persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) detained at the station tested positive for the coronavirus. After the first two cases, the station personnel were immediately placed under isolation in that same station since May 5.
Those personnel who were tested but yielded negative results remain in isolation.
For the time being, the top police leadership has ordered the installation of a “virtual police station” just outside Station 6.
“We arranged a virtual police station in front of Police Station 6. Naay Catholic church diha so atong gibutang didto ang reserved forces nato gikan sa region to act as personnel sa Station 6 pending nga quarantine sila for 14 days and ma-ensure nato na safety sila,” Ferro said.
Personnel from the regional headquarters are the ones who respond to alarms and other security matters falling under the station’s jurisdiction.
Ferro further said he has talked to the personnel who have tested positive and assured them that PRO-7 will not be leaving them behind.
“We will be helping them recover in these trying times,” he said after a video call with the patients.
As to their issued firearms, Ferro said: “Atong gipang-deposit ang ilang mga pusil para walay problem na mag-erupt if in case na some of them are stressed out.”
Meanwhile, CCPO Director Colonel Josefino Ligan said that the whole police station was decontaminated morning of Tuesday.
Ligan said the 37 remaining station personnel will still be considered on duty with half of them assigned at the police station while the other half isolated at the adjacent building.
He also said contract tracing is still being conducted to determine those who may have interacted with the new cases.
Last May 6, a patrolman from Regional Mobile Force Battalion assigned at the virus-hit Barangay Luz, Cebu City also tested positive for the virus. The policeman is now trying to recuperate from the infection. JMD (FREEMAN)