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
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