Hundreds of PNPA students to test for COVID-19 after two cadets die
Following the death of two Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) cadets, hundreds of students will undergo reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for COVID-19, PNP chief General Archie Francisco Gamboa said on Monday
"We have lost two cadets in PNPA. The findings initially showed that it's because of heat stroke so I told the PNPA to temporarily suspend the training and to separate all the first year, including their plebe detail cadets that are already segregated and then all of them will undergo RT-PCR, 350 plus the training staff probably 20 of them," Gamboa said.
"Then we are going to review today. We will be having a joint meeting not only with PNPA. We will have a meeting together with the recruits of National Police Training Institute and then our current second cycle recruitment," he said.
"We will also take that up because our target supposed to be is by August 15, the 2nd cycle which is around 3,000 to 4,000 will take (their) oath," he added.
Gamboa said the establishment of certain protocols were being studied and it will be discussed during the meeting with PNPA.
"I don't want to disregard the possibility of having infection at the training camps because of other experiences abroad... they were together. Whenever they have to answer, they shout," he said.
"We also have to revisit the (personal protective equipment) PPE at least basic PPE, masks that are being issued to training because in the trainees they always sweat so the proximity of the infection is huge" he added.
Although they are targeting to conduct the oath taking on August 15, Gamboa admitted it may be postponed or delayed.
"We are trying to review first certain protocols. Of course, we really wanted to meet deadlines because of the situation. Probably a lot of things will be postponed. We wanted to actually meet the August 15 oathtaking for the new recruits because the 1st cycle has excess who completed the process," he said.
"We're supposed to open the 2nd cycle to accommodate the excess that were not accommodated on the 1st cycle but with the things happening now we might reschedule the August 15 ( oathtaking),'' said Gamboa.
Gamboa said the ''consequence is that all the applicants will have to re-apply for their clearances and then probably the medical (exam) has to be taken into consideration also. '' Robina Asido/DMS