PNP to reassess own health workforce dealing with COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police will reassess its medical workforce after some of its doctors were quoted in a media report as saying that they are also now getting exhausted like other health workers battling the coronavirus disease pandemic.
“I gave instructions to Gen. Cascolan to try to reevaluate also our forces kasi nakita niyo naman, sabi ni Presidente pati ‘yung PNP will be used already. So sabi ko, let us reexamine the availability of our medical reserve force,” PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said in a press briefing on Tuesday, referring to Lt. Gen. Camilo Cascolan, PNP deputy chief for administration.
Citing a higher level of discipline in the armed agencies, Gamboa explained that police personnel normally do not openly air their complaints, thus the need for a reassessment to pave the way for a “heart-to-heart” talk with the PNP Health Service.
He also said that PNP hospitals only normally admit police officers suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 because of its limited capacity to treat patients.
As of 6 p.m. Monday, the PNP has already recorded 2,283 COVID-19 cases among its 209,000-strong force. The death toll stood at 11, while 1,251 have recovered.
There are another 2,199 suspected and 862 probable cases.
According to Gamboa, only a few personnel from the PNP Health Service have been infected with COVID-19.
He adds that the only way to prevent more policemen from contracting the disease is for the PNP to ensure that they are provided sufficient personal protective equipment.
But despite the rising cases of coronavirus infection in the police force, Gamboa said the PNP cannot call for a timeout.
“We are not authorized to call for a timeout in the PNP. We have to continue,” he said.
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