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Policing super spreaders

Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar reminded local ground units to be vigilant against parties and other potential super spreader events after more than 50 people tested positive for Covid-19 in Quezon City following a pool party and drinking session.

“I am reminding all our police commanders to be on alert and strictly monitor your areas of responsibility to prevent mass gatherings and ensure the observance of minimum public health safety standards,” he said in a statement sent to reporters.

Eleazar said that as many as 54 people were infected with Covid-19 in Quezon City due to the pool party. In an earlier statement, the city government said the effects of the super spreader event prompted another community lockdown, adding that the City Legal Department has been directed to probe concerned barangay officials to find out if they failed to fulfill any responsibilities.

Under the omnibus guidelines of the coronavirus task force, parties and other mass gatherings are prohibited as they can cause rapid transmission of the coronavirus. Quarantine violators in government, though, including a former PNP chief, have not been penalized.

Heightened police alert against potential super spreader events and the enforcement of minimum public health safety standards has been an integral component of the government strategy against the spread of Covid-19 over the past 15 months. The combination of quarantine fatigue and the confidence gained from the rollout of the nationwide vaccination program will make this job of the police against the invisible foe even harder but with no changes in the nation’s strategy, they have no choice but to continue policing with even more vigilance and determination.

The finish line is not yet in sight but it is there and, whether we like it or not, our police are an integral part of our government’s strategy against the coronavirus. Let us continue to cooperate to keep ourselves and our communities safe from Covid-19 and support our policemen as they go after those who are starting to lose focus in this collective battle for the health and future of our country.*

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