Police station in Southern Leyte town locked down; cop chief dies of COVID
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, Philippines — The police station of Saint Bernard town in Southern Leyte was placed on lockdown after its chief succumbed to COVID-19 on Wednesday, the provincial police office said.
Police Lt. Mario Lumayno, 48, died while he was confined in a hospital in Sogod town, also in the province, according to the Southern Leyte Provincial Police Office (SLPPO).
Lumayno’s remains were cremated and were brought to his residence in Sogod on the same day.
Lumayno, who assumed his post on Feb. 20, 2020, reportedly experienced flu-like symptoms on June 23 and was swabbed on June 27. The following day, test results showed he was positive for COVID-19. Authorities were yet to disclose how Lumayno got infected with the virus.
Lumayno was the first policeman in the region to die of COVID-19, according to Police Lt. Maria Bella Rentuaya, information officer of the Eastern Visayas police.
Since the start of the pandemic, 794 policemen in the region, including Police Brig. Gen. Ronaldo de Jesus, the regional police director, got infected with COVID-19.
Police Col. Dante Novicio, police provincial director, condoled with the family of Lumayno and promised they would receive assistance from the Philippine National Police.
“On behalf of SLPPO, we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Police Lieutenant Lumayno. SLPPO will extend whatever assistance it can to ease up the burden,” he said in a statement.
Novicio appealed to the public to refrain from attending mass gatherings to avoid contracting the virus.
“We would also like to encourage the public to [instead] join the vaccination efforts of the government,” he said.
Novicio has yet to announce who will assume Lumayno’s post.
Saint Bernard currently has 17 active COVID-19 cases with four deaths.
—JOEY GABIETA INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.