February 1, 2023

The Department of the Interior and Local Government has hired more contact tracers for the Cordillera Administrative Region so that possible carriers of the SARS-CoV2 can be immediately identified and isolated.

DILG-CAR Local Government Operations Officer Alfreiner Partido on Tuesday said there were 571 contact tracers who were initially hired and trained. They started working on Oct. 1. An additional 283 were deployed in November, bringing to 854 the total number of contact tracers in the region.

The last two batches of contact tracers, composed of 100 and 183 persons, were deployed on Nov. 9 and 23, respectively.

“May spike ng cases sa Tuba, Itogon at La Trinidad kaya nagdagdag  tayo ng contact tracers,”  Partido said.

Out of the total number of contact tracers, 153 are assigned in Abra; 64 in Apayao; 178 in Baguio City; 217 in Benguet; 90 in Ifugao; 105 in Kalinga; and 47 in Mountain Province.

Those hired in the Cordillera are part of the 50,000 contact tracers hired nationwide.

Contact tracers are paid a monthly salary of P18,737.

There are still 54 to be hired, Partido added.

Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the country’s contact tracing czar reiterated the importance of contact tracers in identifying spreaders of the virus.

He said close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients may be possible carriers so they need to be immediately identified, quarantined, tested, and isolated.

As of Nov. 26, Baguio has 40 contact tracing teams with 1,006 members who are composed of policemen, medical personnel, Barangay Health Emergency Teams, and the 176 hired by the DILG.

Magalong said the city is able to trace about 80 to 90 percent of the close contacts of Covid-19 positive patients.

“The more you test, the higher you perform. If you reach your contact tracing efficiency ratio, talagang dadami ang kaso (your cases will increase). What is important is you get the real situation on the ground, you get the real figure, mas mataas ang situational awareness mo so iyong tactical action strategic decisions will be more responsive to the prevailing situation,” he said. – PNA