'Encouraging signs': PNP sees drop in COVID-19 quarantine violators

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 30 2020 07:04 PM

Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group personnel check the identification and quarantine passes of motorists at a checkpoint along EDSA and Santolan Road in Quezon City on April 21, 2020 while Metro Manila remains under enhanced community quarantine because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Jire Carreon, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday reported a decrease in the number of quarantine violators since the implementation of lockdown measures across the country to arrest the spread of COVID-19.

Speaking to radio DZMM, Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, commander of Joint Task Force COVID-19 Shield, said they recorded some 1,388 violators on Wednesday, the lowest figure since the implementation of the Luzon-wide lockdown on March 17.

To date, police have accosted more than 153,000 quarantine violators, of whom 104,000 were given a warning while others were arrested, he said.

“Sobrang sakripisyo ang ginagawa natin tapos dahil sa mga pasaway na hindi sumusunod, masisira ang ating ginagawa,” said Eleazar, also PNP’s deputy chief for operations.

(We have sacrificed so much but because of these violators our efforts [against COVID-19] are hampered.)

In a statement, PNP chief Gen. Archie Gamboa said the decrease in quarantine violators were noticed when the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was first extended to April 30.

The President has since extended the ECQ again in Metro Manila and other areas with high COVID-19 incidence until May 15. The rest of the country will be under a general community quarantine starting May 1. 

“These are encouraging signs of how the people will eventually adapt to the ‘new normal,’” he said.

“As we take a proactive stance at yet another extended term of the ECQ, PNP Unit commanders have been instructed to optimize rotation of personnel so everyone can rest well and prepare for the days ahead,” he added.

As of Wednesday, the PNP has 93 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of whom 3 died while 13 recovered. The police force also has 207 probable and 376 suspected COVID-19 cases.