GUIDELINES are in place for the continuous contact tracing in Benguet’s capital town.
Legislators in La Trinidad passed on third and final reading an ordinance for the identification, listing, and follow-up of persons who may have come into close contact with confirmed coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases.
The ordinance authored by Vice Mayor Roderick Awingan and Councilor Guiller Galwan added the goal of contact tracing seeks to interrupt ongoing transmission and reduce the spread of infection.
Lawmakers said the approved measure aims to organize a local contact tracing team under the Local Task Force against Covid-19 composed of the Municipal Health Services Officer as the team leader and the chief of La Trinidad police station as the co-team leader with its members comprised of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer, Sanitation Inspectors, Nurses and midwives under the MHSO, Municipal Local Population Officer, Bureau of Fire Protection Officers and Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams with various functions stated in the new ordinance.
In the confirmation of a Covid-19 case, the Municipal Epidemiological Surveillance initiates a case investigation and collects data of the case including the travel history and a list of close contacts.
Under the ordinance, the team shall rigorously locate, profile, assess, and verify the identity of the individual and establish contacts.
Probable and suspected cases, including those identified to have had contact with such cases, including confirmed cases, shall be put in isolation or required to undergo quarantine a minimum of 14 days.
If contacts started to show symptoms of Covid-19 the task force shall refer the case to the appropriate facilities.
Declaration forms will also be given to and signed by Covid-19 patients and close contacts prior to conducting epidemiology investigation with a privacy notice to be provided to inform patients and contact on the processing of information in pursuant to the Data Privacy Act of 2012.
On Thursday, Mayor Romeo Salda stressed contact tracing had been conducted since the start of the community quarantine in the municipality.
“Contact tracing is being conducted especially for the first contact of confirmed cases in the town they are directed to undergone swab test were individuals mostly have negative test results. Those with positive results are directly referred to Benguet General Hospital or Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center. “
On Tuesday, Benguet province recorded 10 recoveries representing all confirmed Covid-19 patients in the province with a father and son recently discharged in a hospital in La Trinidad.
Despite the recent recoveries recorded, officials continue to appeal to stakeholders to remain vigilant and observe precautionary measures against Covid-19.
“We would like to inform the people of La Trinidad though we are on GCQ we should still practice social distancing wearing of mask and observe personal hygiene. We should not go out except when it is your schedule for market and having check-up. We will continue on the list of contact tracing to control our local transmission and all persons contacted should all be tested,” Salda added.