BARMM police camp on lockdown as 186 trainees, cops contract COVID-19

File photo of the Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in Parang, Maguindanao. MindaNews photo by FERDINANDH CABRERA

PARANG, Maguindanao (MindaNews / 2 November) —Camp Brigadier General Salipada K. Pendatun, the headquarters of the Police Regional Office in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), has been locked down after 183 applicants and three personnel tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Dr. Elizabeth Samama, Maguindanao provincial health officer, said Monday the police trainees were confirmed infected with the virus through the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.

She added they are now working with the local government unit of Parang and the BARMM’s Ministry of Health to contain the spread of the virus in the facility.

“We are working now on containment. We have to admit that we have local transmissions in many parts of the Bangsamoro region and in Mindanao. Since they all came from different places, they are considered potential carriers,” Samama said.

Last October 23, the police regional office collected the swab samples of 196 police candidates and some camp personnel for RT-PCR testing as part of the training protocol.

The results came out on October 25 and the camp immediately imposed a lockdown due to the high number of COVID-19 positives.

The patients, all of them asymptomatic, have been quarantined at the Notre Dame of Parang.

Once they finished the prescribed quarantine period and will be tested negative in the next RT-PCR testing, they can proceed with their training.

This is the second time the camp was shut down due to COVID-19 infection.

In August, the camp was also closed after at least 34 trainees and police personnel were infected with the virus. They were exposed to a COVID-19 positive tailor who measured their uniforms. (Ferdinandh B. Cabrera / MindaNews)