AFTER they tested positive of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) last week, 139 neophyte police officers have been isolated in their training school in Sitio Laray in Barangay Jugan, Consolacion town, northern Cebu.
The number of police officers in Central Visayas infected with Covid-19 has now reached 511.
The 139 trainee police officers in the Philippine National Police-Regional Training Center 7 showed no symptoms of the respiratory disease, said Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, director of the Police Regional Office (PRO) 7.
Ferro told reporters that one of the trainees’ laundrymen, who also serves as cook, could have been the source of the infection.
“During our contact tracing activities, we concluded that the laundryman could be the source of the infection as he often went to the town’s public market to buy ingredients for our recruits’ meals,” Ferro said in Cebuano.
Before the rookie police officers were sent to the Regional Training Center 7, they had taken the rapid testing and all recruits yielded negative results, Ferro said.
Last week, the PRO 7 conducted a reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test on their recruits after police recruits undergoing training in Luzon, particularly at the National Capital Region Police Office, were found positive of Covid-19.
Aside from the police recruits, one of the Regional Training Center 7 instructors was also found positive of Covid-19, but asymptomatic.
Despite undergoing isolation, the 139 recruits will still continue with their classes and training.
Ferro said the recruits will still undergo virtual classes; their regular physical exercises will continue.
Since April this year, 511 police officers have been infected with Covid-19. Of the number, 189 are active cases and 322 are recoveries.
Four officers have died from Covid-19.
On July 29, 2020, Wednesday, 101 police officers who had completed their quarantine at the City Resource and Management Center (Cremdec) in Barangay Taptap, Cebu City were discharged after they recovered from Covid-19.
Cebu City Councilor Joel Garganera, deputy chief implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force’s Emergency Operations Center in Cebu City, congratulated the police officers during their “graduation ceremony” at Cremdec.
“To me, Covid-19 has a face and it’s a face of death. As you go back to the frontlines, be safe and (be) more determined to beat Covid together again,” Garganera said.
Ferro said the police officers who recovered from Covid-19 will be deployed back to the frontlines as contact tracers. (AYB, JJL)