Gov’t eye­ing more con­tact trac­ers — Ma­ga­long

The re­cruit­ment of the 50,000 con­tact trac­ers is a big deal but if you’ll ask me is it enough? It’s not, we will surely have a short­age

Daily Tribune (Philippines) - - WAR ON COVID - BY GABBIE PARLADE @tri­bunephl_­gabs

There is still a press­ing need for the na­tional gov­ern­ment to re­cruit more con­tact trac­ers with the num­ber of peo­ple test­ing pos­i­tive for the coro­n­avirus dis­ease (COVID-19) con­tin­u­ing to rise, trac­ing czar and Baguio City Mayor Ben­jie Ma­ga­long said on Tues­day.

In a ra­dio in­ter­view, he said that an ideal team of four peo­ple which in­clude a health worker and a po­lice in­ves­ti­ga­tor should be al­lot­ted to trace the close con­tacts of each COVID case.

How­ever, due to the lack of staff some of

the in­fected pa­tients re­main to have un­traced con­tacts.

“Four is to one is the ideal, but be­cause we are overwhelme­d with cases some­times oth­ers are not con­tact traced. There are places in Manila who are call­ing me that they’ve tested (pos­i­tive) but not one of the lo­cal gov­ern­ment trac­ers has yet called them,” he said.

Al­though the Depart­ment of the In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) has an on­go­ing re­cruit­ment and train­ing al­lot­ted for thou­sands of con­tact trac­ers, he warned that it may not be enough.

This is why Ma­ga­long is call­ing for more vol­un­teers to take part in the na­tional trac­ing ef­fort.

“The re­cruit­ment of the 50,000 con­tact trac­ers is a big deal but if you’ll ask me is it enough? It’s not, we will surely have a short­age,” stated the of­fi­cial.

“We need vol­un­teers, cause-ori­ented groups who think they have the crit­i­cal think­ing abil­ity, or mem­bers with an in­ves­tiga­tive mind­set and who are not ex­actly look­ing for salar­ies. They can al­ways vol­un­teer,” he added.

At present, the coun­try has 97,400 con­tact trac­ers which will be fur­ther in­creased to 150,000 with the gov­ern­ment’s on­go­ing hir­ing for trac­ers.

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