Palace: IATF orders full use of COVID-19 contact-tracing app in 10 days

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS CBN News

Posted at Mar 12 2021 02:45 PM

Palace: IATF orders full use of COVID-19 contact-tracing app in 10 days 1
People follow health protocols and fill out contact tracing forms at a mall in Makati City on March 11, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The inter-agency task force leading the country's pandemic response has ordered the "full implementation" of the national government's contact-tracing app within 10 days, Malacañang said on Friday, as COVID-19 cases spiked in the Philippines.

The IATF in December had required all establishments to adopt the Stay Safe contact-tracing app. But Palace spokesman Harry Roque said on Thursday remained the weakest point in the country's COVID-19 response, and that StaySafe was not in full use.

“Wala na pong problema sa StaySafe app. As of yesterday, lahat ng gusot nai-plantsa na. Full implementation of StaySafe app within 10 days,” Roque said in a press briefing.

(The StaySafe app no longer has problems. As of yesterday, all glitches have been ironed out. There will be full implementation of StaySafe app within 10 days.)

Local governments who have been using their own contact-tracing apps should make sure that these have “inter-operability or compatibility” with StaySafe, he said. 

Authorities should ideally find 30 to 37 people who had close interaction with a patient who tests positive for the novel coronavirus, contact-tracing czar and Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier said. 

“Iyong ating pinapaigting pa na (our intensified contact-tracing ratio of) 1:36 Magalong formula will now be implemented on a nationwide basis by StaySafe,” said Roque. 
 
“Talagang wala na pong pagbabago d'yan. We will implement StaySafe once and for all,” he added. 

(There will be no change there.) 

The Philippines on Thursday recorded 3,749 new coronavirus infections, the highest daily increase in cases in nearly 6 months. The health department said total confirmed cases were at 607,048, while deaths reached 12,608. 

Authorities have warned the public not to be complacent and practice physical distancing to avoid the spread of the virus accelerating further. 

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— With a report from Reuters