BY GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Thirty-two more police personnel assigned at the Bacolod City Police Office, and one in the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office, tested positive for Covid-19 yesterday.
The Philippine National Police Health Service reported that Covid-19 active cases at the BCPO rose to 91 on May 9, compared to 59 in its May 2 records. In the same period, only one active case was reported at the NOCPPO.
The report added that Covid-19 active cases rose to 162 from 120 on May 2.
The BCPO remained on top of the list with the most number of active cases at 91, followed by the NOCPPO – 36, PRO 6 regional headquarters – 17, Antique PPO – 4, National Support Units – 3, Aklan PPO – 2, and Capiz PPO and Regional Mobile Force Battalion 6 – one each.
The total confirmed Covid cases among PRO 6 personnel also increased to 524, as of May 9, compared to 454 a week ago. However, the recoveries also rose from 349 to 392, the report added.
The fatalities remained at two.
Meanwhile, police stations will coordinate with local government units to prepare holding areas for those who violate minimum health standards, like not wearing or improperly wearing masks.
In a radio interview yesterday, newly-installed Philippine National Police chief, Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, clarified that those caught without masks may be “temporarily” taken into police custody for briefing.
“Our directive to unit commanders is to coordinate with LGUs. Find an area in the barangays that will be used as holding areas. We will arrest stubborn individuals who, in spite of our reminders, still refused to comply,” Eleazar said.
Those who will be caught will be given masks and taken to holding areas. They will be dealt with according to the LGU ordinance, he said.
“We will process them depending on the ordinance. If they must do community service, so be it. If they must pay fines, we’ll enforce that, then they’ll be released,” Eleazar said.
Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año ordered the PNP to prepare detention areas in anticipation of the number of arrests.
“In order to sustain the decline in Covid-19 cases across the country, authorities must strictly implement and enforce all minimum health standards and protocols, especially the proper wearing of face masks and face shields and the strict enforcement of curfew hours,” Año said in statement recently.
Eleazar said most police stations have small detention areas but if they are empty, health protocol violators may be taken there. “The reality is, detention cells are packed, so we request LGUs and barangays to provide holding areas,” he said.*with report from PNA