THE Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said a total of 46,338 contact tracers have already been deployed across the country to minimize transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said these contact tracers complement the 97,400 who were hired earlier.
"The low number of cases we are experiencing now is partly a result of our ramped up contact tracing capacity which immediately cuts community transmission once a Covid patient is identified," he said in a statement.
Of the 46,338, 7,362 were deployed in the National Capital Region (NCR), which is the epicenter of the Covid-19 crisis in the country.
Others were deployed in Central Luzon, 5,026; Central Visayas, 4,241; Calabarzon, 3,679; Western Visayas, 3,306; Zamboanga Peninsula, 3,267; Davao, 3,041; Bicol, 2,736; Caraga, 2,544; Northern Mindanao, 2,000; Mimaropa, 1,529; Soccsksargen, 1,501; BARMM, 1,480; Ilocos, 1,445; Eastern Visayas, 1,395; Cagayan Valley, 1,215; and Cordillera, 571.
Año said the department is continuously processing applications to complete the 50,000 targeted contact tracers for a more efficient contact tracing system.
He urged local government units (LGUs) to seek assistance should they need more contact tracers.
As of November 13, 2020, 1,410 CTs may still be reassigned to LGUs that may be experiencing a spike in coronavirus infections.
Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, Covid-19 contact tracing czar, said contact tracing efforts need to further improve.
At present, he said the contact tracing ratio is 1:9, or nine close contacts are traced for every coronavirus-positive individual.
He said the ideal ratio is 30 to 37 contacts per patient in urban areas and 1:25 to 1:30 in rural areas.
“Nag-iimprove naman po kaya lang parang usad pagong,” he said in a radio interview.
He said the increase in the number of contact tracers has helped improve the contact tracing efforts in the country.
As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, November 18, there were a total of 412,097 infections in the Philippines.
The number includes 374,666 recoveries and 7,957 deaths. (SunStar Philippines)