MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) clarified rumors on the planned house-to-house visits to locate individuals positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
According to PNP Spokesperson PBGen. Bernard Banac, the police will only act as security escorts to local health authorities who will spearhead the process.
“Mangunguna pa rin talaga ang mga local health workers natin, at ang pagbabasehan niyan ay iyong mga listahan nila ng mga positive cases (The local health workers will lead [the initiative], and will base their visits on the list of positive cases),” Banac said.
“Sila talaga ang nakakaalam niyan (They are the ones who are familiar with the list),” he added.
But still, the official said they will conduct a thorough search of all persons who had direct contact with someone who has COVID-19 to prevent further spread of the disease.
This perhaps, Banac said, was what critics misunderstood from the statement of PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa who likened contract tracing to tracking fugitives.
“Ang pinatutungkulan ni PNP Chief PGen. Archie Gamboa ay iyong 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, [PNP Chief Archie Gamboa was referring to the manner of contact tracing that will be led by Mayor Benjie Magalong. He was referring to the system of searching those with possible exposure to COVID-19,]” Banac explained.
“Hindi ito iyong tungkol doon sa pagsundo ng mga positive cases na, [It was not about fetching the positive cases,]” he added.
Banac assured that the public has nothing to worry about the house visits for COVID-19 patients.
Even Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander PLTGENPLTGEN. Guillermo Eleazar stressed that police personnel will only serve as security escorts in the planned house to house visits.
“Ang role ng ating PNP ay para tumulong sa ating LGU through their health officers or workers kasi sila ang nakakaalam kung sino ang mga pasyente na positive na para dalhin sa mga isolation facilities (The role of our policemen is to help our LGUs specifically the health workers as they are the ones who know the positive cases so they could be sent to isolation facilities),” Eleazar concluded. MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)
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