Gov’t to retrain 249,000 contact tracers, says czar Magalong

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 06 2021 09:05 AM | Updated as of May 06 2021 09:26 AM

Passengers try the newest contact tracing app launched by MRT-3 at the North Avenue Station in Quezon City on January 18, 2021. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA—The government will retrain some 249,000 contact tracers following a surge in the National Capital Region, the official leading the program said Thursday.

The ideal contact tracing ratio is now 1:15 from 1:37, said contact tracing czar Benjamin Magalong.

"Sa ngayon meron tayong 249,000 na ating ireretrain. Hinihintay ko lang matapos ang recruitment ng DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment), 'yung 5,000 new contact tracers. Most of these will be deployed dito sa (here in) NCR Plus," Magalong, also Baguio City mayor, told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.

(Right now, we have 249,000 contact tracers we will retrain. I'm just waiting for DOLE to finish recruiting contract tracers.)

"Ang average kasi kung talagang masipag, ang mapa-process 5 to 6 na positive cases every day. Ang beginners makaka-process lang yan ng 3 o 4 na positive cases."

(One contact tracer at best can process an average of 5 to 6 positive cases every day. Beginners can process 3 or 4 positive cases.)

The interior department is evaluating contact-tracing app StaySafe for public use, while the National Economic and Development Authority is putting together another contact-tracing system that can be integrated into existing ones, Magalong said. 

"Kung StaySafe at du'n sa bago nating ginagawa, ang humahawak naman ng database na 'yan is government. In control ang ating government at talagang compliant naman pagdating sa Data Privacy Act," he said.

(The government is handling the StaySafe database and another one we're developing. It is in control and compliant with the Data Privacy Act.)

The Philippines on Wednesday tallied 5,685 more COVID-19 infections, raising its total to 1,073,555, with 62,713 active cases.

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