Davao Region lacks contact tracers

Aug. 10, 2020

Photo from the Department of Health’s Facebook page

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — The regional office of the Department of Health (DOH-XI) has admitted they are still short of the targeted contact tracers in the region.

Dr. Racquel Montejo, contact tracing team leader, said there are 6,827 contact tracers out of the expected 7,162.

“We have a gap of 500 in Davao City, 165 in Davao del Sur, and 40 in Davao Occidental. These provinces are already updating their contact tracing team,” she said.

In a memorandum released by DOH in April 2020, contact tracing is an essential component in containing outbreaks of infectious diseases by identifying, listing, and following persons in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Davao del Norte’s provincial government will start implementing on Aug. 17 a COVID-19 electronic tracking system that uses quick response codes in contact tracing.

This is part of strengthening the surveillance system, according to Provincial COVID-19 Inter-Agency Task Force Incident Commander Dr. Alfredo Lacerona.

Meanwhile, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte- Carpio confirmed the challenges encountered in contact tracing.

“Others do not want to share, forgot the past 14 days, and others do not want to ask over and over again while others are no longer in contact. We have the names and the numbers, but they no longer answer,” she shared.

The City Government of Davao has 282 contact tracers and waits for the City Health Office’s advice for the hiring of the new workforce.

As of Aug. 7, the DOH identified Barangays Buhangin, 76A, 23C, and Sasa as areas with the most number of COVID-19 cases. (davaotoday.com)

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