Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Davao City to hire more contact tracers

Photo credit to Davao CIO

THE Davao City Government is in need of more contact tracers as the city's contact tracing might experience delays due to the continuing surge in Covid-19 cases.

Covid-19 Task Force spokesperson Dr. Michelle Schlosser said in a radio interview on Wednesday, September 22, 2021, that the city is currently hiring additional contact tracers to be augmented as the Davao City continues to experience an uptick of cases.

"Tungod sa nagkadaghan ang atoang cases, dakog chance na pwede ma-delay ang atong contact tracing," Schlosser said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

(Due to the surge in Covid-19 cases, we could experience delays in our contact tracing procedures.)

The official admitted that the lack of manpower is one of the challenges of the City's contact tracing effort.

Although based on their report, Schlosser said the city is still the top-performing local government in the entire Davao Region based on contact tracing efforts.

She said the city has a "one is to 15" ratio on the efficiency of its contact tracing.

"Sa kadaghanon sa atong cases, dili ma-cover tanan sa atong existing number of contact tracers at the moment," the spokesperson said.

(With the overwhelming number of our cases, our existing number of contact tracers cannot cover everyone.)

Schlosser, also the head of the city's contact tracing team, said she personally raised the need for additional contact tracers during the Covid-19 Task Force meeting.

However, she did not elaborate on the number of contact tracers needed by the city.

She added that there is a need to augment additional contact tracers, especially in districts with a surge in cases.

"Hopefully, dili maapektuhan ang atoang contact tracing activity sa kakulangan sa tao nato sa ground (our lack of manpower on the ground won't affect our contact tracing activity). So we are trying to address that," Schlosser said.

She said applicants with training from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and those who had experience as contact tracers will be prioritized in the hiring.

Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio previously said contact tracing is one of the important measures in the city's Covid-19 response.

Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said the existing number of contact tracers currently stands at 255,854 nationwide, which is more than sufficient for the country's needs.

"We already have 29,611 contact tracing teams, which are composed of 255,854 contact tracers nationwide. Even without the DILG hiring, we already have sufficient number of contact tracers," Malaya said.

He said the DILG rehiring only seeks to augment the current number of contact tracers to meet Department of Health (DOH) standards of 1 is to 800 contact tracer to population ratio.

"Per the DOH, the ideal contact tracer to population ratio is 1:800 so to fully cover the 108 million Filipinos, we actually need a total of 135,000 contact tracers only," he added.


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