Army ramps up inoculation of soldiers in Sulu as PNP logs 92nd Covid fatality


ALMOST all soldiers deployed in Sulu have been fully vac-cinated or received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, the military said, stressing soldiers must be in tip-top shape to sustain the government’s counter-terrorism drive in the province.

Sulu is where the Army’s 11th Infantry Division is based and it is currently at the center of the government’s campaign against the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) and other terrorist groups, including the Islamic State.

For the past three days, the Joint Task Force Sulu carried out inoculations for its personnel following a vaccination rollout, according to task force commander Major Gen. William Gonzales.

“Last week, 15,900 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine arrived here in Sulu. Today, we’re very glad to announce that almost all of our soldiers in Sulu are either fully vaccinated or have at least got their first dose,” Gonzales said on Monday.

“This is really helpful given that as public servants we actually have to work more during these challenging times,” he added, noting that soldiers deployed in Sulu are not only helping battle the pandemic, but were also running after terrorists.

Last month, a C-130 plane carrying soldiers, most of them for their first deployment to Sulu, crashed while attempting to land at the airport in the town of Patikul, killing 50 troops and injuring 46 others.

The Joint Task Force Sulu said that among those vaccinated were 226 candidate-soldiers who are currently training at the 11th ID Training School, 187 members of Citizen Armed Force Geographical Unit and some candidate-soldier applicants.

In Manila, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said that 79,082 or 35.66 percent of its total personnel have also been fully vaccinated while 92,914 or 41.89 percent have already received their first jab.

At least 49,786 personnel are yet to get their vaccinations.

The PNP recorded 106 new cases of Covid-19 infection among its members on Monday, bringing to 1,970 the total number of active cases in the organization, which has already logged a total of 32,464 Covid-19 cases.

Of the number, a total of 30,402 cases were recoveries, and those who have recovered have since been restored to full-duty status.

At the same time, PNP chief General Guillermo Eleazar said the PNP also recorded its 92nd fatality from the virus following the death of a 50-year-old policeman assigned in Region 1.

“The deceased was tested positive on July 28, 2021, and was admitted to a nearby hospital. However, after 17 days of battling against the infectious disease, the said police officer succumbed and recorded as the 92nd fatality,” he said.

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