Philippine National Police chief Major General Debold Sinas attended several activities when he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 11.
Police Brigadier General Ildebrandi Usana, PNP spokesperson, said that Sinas underwent RT-PCR (Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) testing in the morning of March 11. He said the PNP chief is asymptomatic, an infected person without symptoms.
Usana also told reporters that the police official was in Oriental Mindoro when he received the call about the result of his swab test, prompting him to return to Manila.
Sinas volunteered to be confined at the Kiangan treatment facility in Camp Crame, the PNP headquarters, in Quezon City.
PNP Deputy Chief for Administration Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar will be in-charge of the police force in the meantime.
This was not the first time this month Sinas had undergone COVID-19 testing. Sunstar reported that he got tested two times since last week and received negative results.
- Saturday, March 6
- Tuesday, March 9
Therefore, Sinas might have contracted the virus between March 9 after testing negative for COVID-19 and March 11 before his swab test.
The situation of the controversial cop spawned various reactions which include messages of continuous support and memes that reflect their negative expectations of him.
Some social media users such as market surveillance analyst John Paul Tanyag, with Twitter handle @dumidyeypee expressed concern on Sinas’ activities, citing his attendance to a Holy Mass with several other police officers last Sunday.
“Debold was in Manila Cathedral last Sunday, attended mass,” he wrote.
Based on the dates of swab tests, Sinas could not have contracted any virus during the events he attended since last week until March 9.
Sinas attended a few public events and surrounded mostly by his subordinates for the past few days.
On the day he learned that he tested positive for COVID, Sinas was in a command visit at the PNP Regional Headquarters in MIMAROPA (Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occiental, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan).
In the Facebook page of Oriental Mindoro Public Information Office, a traditional arrival ceremony was held for his arrival at Camp Navarro in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.
“Sinalubong ng buong kapulisan ng MIMAROPA Regional Command sa pangunguna ni PRO MIMAROPA Director PBGen Pascual G. Munoz, Jr. sa pamamagitan ng pagbibigay ng Arrival Honors kina PGen.Debold M. Sinas, PNP Chief, kasama sina PMGen Rhodelo O. Sermonia, PNP Director for Community Relations at PMGen Alfred S. Corpuz, PNP Director for Operations na ginanap sa Regional Heaquarters sa Efegenio Navarro Camp, Suqui Calapan City,” read the post.
Top officials and members of the MIMAROPA regional command were present during the ceremony.
A day before, on March 10, Sinas was present in two public events—oath-taking and donning of ranks to newly-promoted rank cops at the PNP Multi-Purpose Center in Quezon City.
Later that day, Sinas administered a turnover ceremony of a unit of F550 Ford Truck donated by the United States Embassy in Manila.
Sinas was around other police officials and representatives of the US embassy in the occasion which was also held at the PNP headquarters.
Protocol when exposed to COVID-19- infected patient
Those who are exposed to a COVID-19-infected patient or has been in a COVID-affected area should quarantine themselves for at least ten or 14 days, according to the Department of Health’s guidelines.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention added that those who have undergone COVID-19 detection procedure should still stay home and isolated from other people, regardless if asymptomatic or not.
“If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with other medical conditions,” the organization said.
CDC also highly advised patients who are waiting for their test results to take note of all the people they came in contact with prior to getting tested.
“If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may call you to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others,” CDC said.