At least 232 Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) cadets and 11 personnel tested positive for COVID-19 after the training school conducted its first round of mass testing only this September.
In a phone interview with Rappler on Monday, September 14, PNP Academy spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Byron Allatog said they conducted the first round of mass testing on September 8.
Based in Camp Castañeda in Silang, Cavite, the PNP Academy is temporary home to some 1,100 cadets and dozens of support personnel.
The mass testing was triggered by the initiative of new PNP Academy director Brigadier General Gilbert Cruz, Allatog said. All 232 infected cadets and 11 personnel were asymptomatic, the spokesman added.
Prior to this, he said they were only using randomized testing and only detected two positive cases who have already recovered.
The PNP Academy has been on lockdown since the two positive cases were detected on September 3. It planned on commencing its training year this September, but with the influx of positive cases, the opening of the academy was suspended.
They cannot leave the premises until further notice, Allatog said. They are also ordered to wear masks and face shields at all times inside.
The positive cases, meanwhile, have been quarantined inside 5 new isolation facilities in the academy. The PNP's Health Service are standing as the medical care workers for the infected cadets and personnel. – Rappler.com
Rambo Talabong covers the House of Representatives and local governments for Rappler. Prior to this, he covered security and crime. He was named Jaime V. Ongpin Fellow in 2019 for his reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs. In 2021, he was selected as a journalism fellow by the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics.