BY ADRIAN P. NEMES III
Several personnel of the Bacolod City Police Office will undergo surveillance testing to determine if they are infected with the coronavirus disease 2019, acting city director, P/Col. Manuel Placido told the DAILY STAR yesterday.
Placido said he was informed by P/Major Sherlock Gabana, who is the focal person of the BCPO to the Emergency Operations Center that the proposal for surveillance testing was among the topics discussed during a recent meeting with City Administrator Em Ang, who is the executive director of EOC.
He said that it would be better if all the 700 BCPO police force will be tested because there is a possibility that there are policemen who are already infected but are unaware, thus infecting others.
But he said this would still depend on the availability of test kits. If there are limited test kits, policemen doing beat patrols should be prioritized as they are most likely the ones exposed and have high risks of getting infected, he added.
Placido, who was already tested before, said he is willing to be tested again to ensure that he is Covid-free.
Last week, seven police trainees from the Police Regional Training School in Brgy. Mansilingan, two others from the Police Regional Office-Western Visayas detailed at Police Station 1 in downtown area, and two organic personnel of BCPO tested positive for Covid.
Ang, meanwhile, said they do not expect that the number of active cases in Bacolod will go down anytime soon, especially that the travel moratorium of locally stranded individuals, returning overseas Filipino workers, and authorized persons outside residences had been lifted.
She said the city also conducted a mass surveillance testing, following the surge of cases lately.
For this month alone, 15 Covid patients in Bacolod succumbed to the disease, including two doctors and a 62-year-old employee of the city government, who died on Tuesday, Ang said.
She said there were only three casualties in January, another three in February, and five last month. With the resurgence of Covid cases and the growing number of deaths, Ang reiterated that those who have symptoms of the disease should seek immediate medical attention to avoid severe complications that might lead to death.*