By Jennifer P. Rendon
Even police camps and stations are vulnerable to the threats of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
On Wednesday, the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO-6) said it will also implement measures as part of their security operations response relative to the COVID-19 threat.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Joem Malong, PRO-6 spokesperson, said these measures will be implemented on PNP camps, training schools, and other PNP facilities.
Just like the measures imposed by establishments and other offices, Malong said they will also conduct thermal scanning. But she admitted that the PNP has yet to purchase thermal scanners.
In Iloilo province, Police Colonel Paul Kenneth Lucas, Iloilo police chief, said he already ordered the procurement of more than 50 thermal scanners to be used by the 43 police stations, the IPPO headquarters, and other police camps in the area.
The move is in response to a memorandum from the PNP national headquarters relative to President Rodrigo Duterte’s declaration of State of Public Health Emergency.
Along with the mandatory scanning of personnel and visitors, the PNP ordered its units to detail personnel with medical practitioners to conduct thermal scanning on all visitors not only in police camps and stations but also in trainings schools/institutes, hospitals, and even dispensaries.
Malong said attendees of meetings and conferences will also be subjected to thermal scanning.
Under the memorandum, police personnel were also directed to “assist health officers in the contact tracing and quarantine of persons or communities and secure the transfer of patients to the appropriate health offices.”
When asked if PRO-6 is equipped to do that, Malong said they were given eight pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE).
“But I believe, more PPEs will be distributed in the region,” she said.
The PNP national headquarters will procure the equipment, Malong added.
The memorandum also ordered that police officers with proper training and knowledge and equipped with PPE should be deployed to COVID-19-related responses.
Continuous regular coordination with health offices – from the regional, provincial, and municipal health offices down to the barangay level – for contact tracing, if necessary, will also be sustained.
The Police Community Relations sections and branches are also expected to heighten information awareness on COVID-19.
PRO-6 released basic health advisory to prevent COVID-19, such as FLU WISE (to prevent spread of the disease, W-wash, I-informed, S-Social Distancing, and E-Etiquette) and FLU CARE (To reduce mortality in case you have the flu, virus and other infectious diseases C-Care, A-Assess, R-Rest, and E-Education).
Malong said it is also important that they need to know the symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, dry cough, tiredness, sore throat, aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose or diarrhea. and shortness of breath.