Doctors advise Filipinos to maintain ‘diary’ during COVID-19 pandemic to help contact tracing efforts

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2020 03:09 PM

MANILA — A doctor on Tuesday said Filipinos should consider keeping a “diary” to record who they interact with as part of efforts to help contact tracing activity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Habang inaayos natin ang proseso ng contact tracing, ito ang aming payo: Bawat isa sa atin mag-maintain tayo ng diary. Isulat natin araw-araw kung saan tayo nagpunta, at kung kaya, kung sino ang nakasalamuha nating tao,” said Dr. Aileen Espina during a virtual briefing of the Healthcare Professionals Alliance against COVID-19 (HPAAC).

(While we are working on the contact tracing process, here is our advice: Each one of us should maintain a diary. We write down daily where we went and, if possible, who we interacted with.)

Espina, who is also from the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians, said that if a a person experiences any COVID-related symptoms, he or she should check the diary.

“Ang ating nakasalamuha 2 days before naramdaman ang sintomas na iyon, tawagan po natin,” she said.

(If we experience some symptoms, we should call all those who we interacted with two days before that day.)

Doctors have said that a person can be infectious 2 or 3 days before they experience COVID-19 symptoms. 

Espina said people should inform their contacts if they have symptoms so the former can undergo self-quarantine while awaiting test results.

She said contacts will have to be responsible and stay at home as a precaution.

Espina and other doctors admitted that it is very hard to change the behavior of people, but lifestyle change is important now during the pandemic.

“Kadalasan, ang pasyente, sasabihin sa atin, bigyan mo na lang kami ng gamot kaysa mag-lifestyle change,” Espina said.

However, she pointed out that washing of hands is something that had long been taught to children.

“We have to change our way of life in order to live and co-exist with the virus,” she said.

The Philippines has logged nearly 165,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as of Monday, of which, almost 50,000 are active.