PNP chief on house-to-house COVID-19 visits: ‘Like locating criminal, accomplices’
ILOILO CITY—Philippine National Police chief Gen. Archie Gamboa on Wednesday (July 15) defended a controversial plan for policemen to become part of teams that would conduct a house-to-house search of persons infected with SARS Cov2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
At a press conference at Camp Martin Delgado, the Western Visayas police headquarters here, Gamboa said the tracing of those suspected of being sick with COVID-19 “requires cognitive investigation” and goes beyond identification.
Gamboa said the “cognitive interview” will be conducted after those suspected of being infected are identified and located.
“The purpose of this plan is like locating a criminal and when you have located one, you have to find his or her accomplices,” said Gamboa.
“These are the skills of investigators in the field because they are used to this. We just convert (the skills for contact-tracing),” Gamboa said.
Citing a presentation of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Gamboa said the visit to houses of those suspected of coronavirus infection would also involve an interview which aims to gather information about all the contacts of the infected persons and the timeline of the encounters.
The information gathered will be used for “analytics,” according to Gamboa.
Magalong, former chief of the PNP’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, has been appointed by Malacanang as “contact tracing czar” in the government’s COVID-19 response.
Starting on Thursday (July 16), Magalong will conduct a training on contact tracing for PNP personnel in Calabarzon and Central Visayas regions, according to Gamboa.