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Parang, Maguindanao---The possible spread of COVID-19 infection was contained in the Regional Headquarters of Police Regional Office Bangsamoro Autonomous Region (PRO BAR). The threat was eliminated with the institution of health measures inside camp. On September 4, 2020, the partial lockdown of Camp BGen Salipada K Pendatun located in Parang, Maguindanao was lifted.
The threat in the camp started when the personnel and students of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region Training Center (BARTC) were exposed to a supplier of Initial Clothing Allowance (ICA) items, who later tested positive of COVID-19 infection.
Police Brigadier General Manuel Manalo Abu, Regional Director of PRO BAR, made sure that the precautionary measures were properly observed with utmost consideration of the well-being of its personnel while ensuring the effective continuation of the PRO’s operations.
The PRO BAR Admin Support to Covid-19 Operations Task Force (ASCOTF), headed by Police Brigadier General Eden T Ugale as Task Force Commander, was immediately convened to discuss the interventions to be undertaken. Thereafter, the BARTC compound which was co-located with the Regional Headquarters of PRO BAR was placed on lockdown on August 7, 2020.
Contact tracing was conducted to determine the personnel who had exposure. The exposed personnel were isolated in the pre-established Quarantine Facilities inside camp. Regional Health Service BAR (RHS BAR) made several coordination with IPHO Maguindanao and the Ministry of Health BARMM for the conduct of RT-PCR tests to the isolated personnel and trainees. As a result, a total of 34 personnel and students tested positive of COVID-19.
On August 13, 2020, the PRO BAR Regional Headquarters compound was put on partial lockdown. To ensure continuity of services, half of its personnel were physically on duty and the other half were on a work-from-home scheme. Prior to the entry of personnel inside camp, RHS BAR required them to fill-up the health assessment form and undergo triaging.
The Regional Health Service BAR in coordination with IPHO Maguindanao conducted medical evaluation on September 4, 2020 and the personnel/students were declared as “clinically recovered” after undergoing a 28-day quarantine.
The Medical Team of the IPHO commended PRO BAR’s efforts to fight this outbreak and we quote ‘’Overall, the PRO BAR’s response to contain the outbreak is commendable. This is in consideration to large number of personnel held in quarantine.’’
The success of the interventions that were undertaken to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19 infection inside camp was a result of the collaborative efforts of the medical services of the PNP with the support of IPHO Maguindanao and Ministry of Health BARMM. Also, worth commending is the cooperation exhibited by the men and women of PRO BAR Headquarters who made the sacrifice of continuing their services even without the comfort of not being able to go home during the partial lockdown.
The partial lockdown of the camp has been lifted. The frontline services of the camp through its Central Processing Assistance Area have resumed. However, observance of minimum health protocols is still strictly implemented inside camp.