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Philippines to use police in house-to-house searches for COVID-19 cases

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softail
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MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown.

Interior Minister Eduardo Año urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment.

The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.

"We don't want positive patients to stay home in (self) quarantine especially if their homes don't have the capacity," Ano told a news conference.

"So what we will do ... is to go house-to-house and we will bring the positive cases to our COVID-19 isolation facilities."

The strategy is a departure from previous advice for positive cases with mild symptoms to self-isolate.

Justifying the searches, Ano cited a 2019 law on disease reporting and surveillance. Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said tracking down positive cases was necessary because some had absconded.

The plan will likely alarm human rights groups battling what they say is impunity for abusive police who have systematically targeted poor communities in a bloody war on drugs, as noted in a recent United Nations report. Police have rejected that.

Police are accused of being heavy handed during the pandemic, including arrests for minor infringements and reports by activists of children killed while violating curfews.

"How is the government going to ensure that the rights of Filipinos are respected and protected with this new approach?" said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director.

"Given that Philippine law enforcers have some of the most checkered COVID responses in the world in terms of human rights, this certainly raises fears."

Police did not immediately respond to a requmlest for comment.

There have been 57,545 Philippine coronavirus infections, of which 1,603 were deaths.

https://ph.yahoo.com/news/philippines-police-house-house-searches-125902423.ht

 

 

Edited by Dafey
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SkyMan
1 hour ago, softail said:

reports by activists of children killed while violating curfews.

Huh?

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Swissrider
MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown.
Interior Minister Eduardo Año urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment.
The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.
"We don't want positive patients to stay home in (self) quarantine especially if their homes don't have the capacity," Ano told a news conference.
"So what we will do ... is to go house-to-house and we will bring the positive cases to our COVID-19 isolation facilities."
The strategy is a departure from previous advice for positive cases with mild symptoms to self-isolate.
Justifying the searches, Ano cited a 2019 law on disease reporting and surveillance. Interior Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said tracking down positive cases was necessary because some had absconded.
The plan will likely alarm human rights groups battling what they say is impunity for abusive police who have systematically targeted poor communities in a bloody war on drugs, as noted in a recent United Nations report. Police have rejected that.
Police are accused of being heavy handed during the pandemic, including arrests for minor infringements and reports by activists of children killed while violating curfews.
"How is the government going to ensure that the rights of Filipinos are respected and protected with this new approach?" said Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director.
"Given that Philippine law enforcers have some of the most checkered COVID responses in the world in terms of human rights, this certainly raises fears."
Police did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
There have been 57,545 Philippine coronavirus infections, of which 1,603 were deaths.
https://ph.yahoo.com/news/philippines-police-house-house-searches-125902423.html
Scary.

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BossHog

I'll reserve comment on this policy except for saying wouldn't the DOH be better suited for the job than the PNP?

Any details on how this new plan will be implemented?

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lamoe
6 minutes ago, BossHog said:

I'll reserve comment on this policy except for saying wouldn't the DOH be better suited for the job than the PNP?

Any details on how this new plan will be implemented?

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There are more PNP, so DOH supervise them?  Also PNP would meet less resistance?

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Sibonga Simon

So, you send stormtroopers into a medical pandemic.  What could go wrong?  I am sure they will be medically trained and equipped. (Not a chance).  They will spread the virus door to door, just to make sure no one misses out.

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BossHog

The public reporting cases in their neighborhoods seems like it has the potential to be abused by neighbors who dislike each other or have long-standing feuds.

Would anyone here call the cops and dob someone in for having a fever and cough?

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to_dave007
58 minutes ago, BossHog said:

I'll reserve comment on this policy except for saying wouldn't the DOH be better suited for the job than the PNP?

Any details on how this new plan will be implemented?

Especially interested to know what happens if the Covid patient resists.

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battleborn

Over reaction to the virus.  It's like trying to drive a nail into a piece of wood with a jackhammer.

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Kreole
1 hour ago, battleborn said:

Over reaction to the virus.  It's like trying to drive a nail into a piece of wood with a jackhammer.

Totally predictable.  Welcome to the new normal.

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BossHog

Not being judgmental on the policy but is anyone aware of other countries doing door-to-door searches and encouraging citizen snitching? Well, apart from North Korea?

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Dafey
3 hours ago, BossHog said:

is anyone aware of other countries doing door-to-door

They are going door to door in the US...everybody is going door to door :cheers:

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MarinePride

I saw this last night on one of the national newspapers' website and the article was conspicuously absent of the criteria required for this type of operation.  So if the house next to you has someone who has a common cold and is sneezing and coughing, you are supposed to report that? 

As for the quarantine at the BIC's, who wants to be in that type of setting for no good reason?  How are they going to administer tests to 100 million people before they start forcibly dragging people out of their dwellings?

How do they know who has covid19?  I'd venture to guess that a lot of people have contracted this by now and were largely asymtomatic, so how are they going to know who has it?   Supposedly, the tests results are not instantaneous.  Also, I doubt they have the facilities to really quarantine a lot of people.

What areas is this plan going to be implemented?  Hot zone areas or everywhere?

If you read enough of the local newspapers, they is often a lot of omissions to clarify the true nature of what is they article is trying to inform the reader of and this story is just another example.

I say open up the Mactan airport and let me the hell out of here, I'll take my chances in the USA at this point.  As I don't see this ending here, ever!

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Irenicus

Seeing as how the government is cracking/shutting down media that reports out on their perceived... excesses and that the 'anti-terrorism' bill has passed which tosses out habeas corpus, the police now having the right to search private residences without search warrants or real probable cause doesn't come as a surprise.  

Like the war on drugs, I am sure they are doing it for the right reasons - to protect their citizenry.  In order to fix the drug, crime and covid problem, extreme measures have to be taken.

I am in support of martial law just so long as President Duterte is in charge of it.  He has proven himself to be a righteous and just leader in these tough times.

 

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Irenicus

I don't see anything else confirming this information, or if these arrests were over a specific period of time. Can anyone from there confirm?  I can't find any other outlets reporting this.

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THE Caloocan city police arrested a total of 15,235 violators of ordinances under the general community quarantine (GCQ) following the order of Mayor Oscar “Oca” Malapitan to enforce tougher measures against quarantine violators.

City police chief Col. Dario Menor said the city chief executive reminded the entire police force to implement much stricter action against violators of existing ordinances to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID)-19.

Col. Menor said his men arrested 3,406 individuals for not wearing face mask; 2,238 violators of social distancing and 9,591 violators of curfew ordinance.

Last Sunday, Mayor Oca placed Barangay 93 in Grace Park East on total lockdown due to rising cases of COVID-19 in the area. Upon his directives, Disinfection Team went to the area in the early morning on Monday to conduct disinfecting operation to curb the spread of virus.

Barangay volunteers and personnel of the Department of Public Safety and Traffic Management (DPSTM) went from house to house in the area to distribute relief packs to more than 1,100 households affected by the lockdown.

 

 

https://journal.com.ph/news/metro/more-15k-gcq-violators-arrested-caloocan

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