Cops leading house-to-house search for COVID-19 patients? Año says fake news
MANILA, Philippines — Reports of police and military forces leading the house-to-house searches for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients to be taken to isolation facilities are fake news, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said on Friday.
In a statement, Año said the reports are “part of the disinformation campaign by unscrupulous individuals.”
Año also reiterated that police officers will only be escorting local government and city health officials during the conduct of “Oplan Kalinga,” which aims to transfer COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms, to government isolation facilities to ensure that they will finish the quarantine period.
“Again, I repeat, the police are there merely in a supporting role,” Año said.
Meanwhile, Año also ordered personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to assist city health officers in the enforcement of “Oplan Kalinga.”
“The BFP is part of the Municipal/City COVID-19 Task Forces and in this capacity, they have been assisting the City/Municipal Health Office transport COVID patients since the start of the pandemic. In fact, they have so far transported 1,674 COVID patients nationwide,” Año said.
BFP members were also tapped to aid in contact tracing efforts, Año said.
“The BFP’s contact tracing efforts have assisted in the tracing of the close contacts of some 18,871 patients,” he said.
In the same statement, Interior Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya also said that the BFP currently has 78 active COVID-19 cases among its personnel.
Malaya also noted that most cases in the BFP are mild symptoms. Two members of the BFP have also died because of COVID-19, Malaya said.
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