Frontliners take online course on Covid-19 contact tracing

ARMED FRONTLINER. A Special Action Force (SAF) trooper patrols the interior portion of Barangay Guadalupe, Cebu City on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020. The presence of 150 SAF troopers in Cebu City (now placed on general community quarantine) will be no more by Aug. 15 after Camp Crame pulled them out and reassigned them to the National Capital Region, which is now on modified enhanced community quarantine. The police officers, including SAF troopers, are non-medical frontliners in the fight to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019—they enforce quarantine restrictions and arrest violators of health protocols such as those who do not wear masks in public. (Photo by Amper Campaña)

MORE than 400 police officers and medical workers in Central Visayas will graduate from Johns Hopkins University’s online course on identifying individuals exposed to people infected with the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

About 250 frontliners in Central Visayas have already graduated from the online course, which “teaches the basics of interviewing people diagnosed with the virus, identifying their close contacts who might have been exposed, and providing them guidance for self-quarantine for two weeks,” according to the Johns Hopkins University article posted on its website.

Police Regional Office 7 Director Albert Ignatius Ferro said the personnel who graduated from the free online course will train their fellow officers.

The police official said they will also make a manual on contact tracing and distribute these materials to the barangay officials.

The manual, said Ferro, will contain the lessons and best practices from Johns Hopkins University, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong’s methodology, the Department of Health and other institutions.

The police official said Johns Hopkins University is teaching the effective yet easy method of contact tracing.

The Johns Hopkins University states in its website that its Covid-19 contact tracing course will let the contact tracers learn the “natural history of Sars-CoV-2 (the virus that causes Covid-19), including the infectious period, the presentation of Covid-19, and evidence for how it is transmitted.”

The course also “defines an infectious contact and timeline for public health intervention through contact tracing.”

It also “demonstrates the utility of case investigation and contact tracing, identifies common barriers and possible strategies to overcome them.”

The course also presents some “ethical considerations around contact tracing, isolation and quarantine.” (AYB / KAL)


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