PNP suspends foreign travel among cops amid COVID-19 threat

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it has temporarily suspended the processing of foreign travel in the police force amid the rising cases of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the country.

PNP Director for Police Community Relations, Major General Benigno Durana Jr., said all applications for foreign travel under process by the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management “are put on hold.”

“On instructions of Police General Archie Francisco F Gamboa, the Philippine National Police has suspended the processing of Foreign Travel and Authority to Travel Abroad for official functions in the light of latest development on the COVID-19 situation in the country,” he said in a statement.

Three police personnel are now being monitored by the PNP Health Service, while one, a dependent of one of the three policemen, is under home quarantine.

Three have manifested coronavirus symptoms while one is asymptomatic.

Durana said two of the four have travel history to Japan, which has now recorded more than 500 confirmed cases.

The Philippines has imposed temporary travel restrictions to China, Hong Kong and Macau and in North Gyeongsang province in South Korea.

Exempted from the ban are overseas Filipino workers, permanent residents and students.

As of March 10, Tuesday, the Philippines has confirmed 33 coronavirus infections.

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