PNP opens testing center as virus infects cops at the front lines

Rambo Talabong

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PNP opens testing center as virus infects cops at the front lines
The Philippine National Police sets up its own testing center as the national and local governments struggle to hit mass testing targets

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) built its own coronavirus testing facility as more of its cops are infected and suspected of being infected while working in the pandemic’s front lines.

The PNP opened its RT-PCR testing facility on May 26 inside Camp Crame in Quezon City with the attendance of PNP chief General Archie Gamboa.

The center, according to the PNP, has the capacity to conduct 150 tests a day and will prioritize testing police frontliners. It has been accredited by the Department of Health.

As of May 26, the PNP counted 281 cops positive for the coronavirus, including 117 recoveries and 4 deaths.

Police data also showed that 739 personnel have been categorized as probable cases, and 594 as suspected cases of COVID-19. (READ: Suspect, probable, confirmed: DOH uses new categories for coronavirus cases)

“We see it clearly, there is a need to have our own testing center as you can see that there are increasing trend of COVID-19 cases among our police frontliners every day,” Gamboa said.

To complement the testing center, a mobile swabbing hub will be stationed inside Camp Bagong Diwa, the headquarters of the National Capital Region Police Office in Taguig City.

The project comes as the national and local governments struggle to hit testing targets to successfully track the transmission of the virus even after months of lockdown. –

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Rambo Talabong

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.