MANILA - The government is conducting on-site training and webinars to fill gaps in its contact tracing efforts during the coronavirus pandemic, Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Sunday.
Of all the regions, only Eastern Visayas and the Bangsamoro have yet to receive training, the country's contact tracing czar said.
"There’s no substitute to being proactive," Magalong told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
The mayor said the ideal ratio of virus patients to traced contacts is 1:37. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier said it could be 1:20 in Metro Manila due to lack of resources.
Magalong, meantime, said he was doing "his best" to advocate nationwide for a 2-page consent document that requires COVID-19 patients to post on social media their status to help in contact tracing.
The mayor said he was careful to be "in the middle ground" so as not to violate the Data Privacy Act, which the interior department earlier said hampered contact tracing efforts.
"What we did was to prepare an affidavit of consent, a 2-page document na ipapabasa sa aming positive patient. Dalawa po ang very critical statement doon, at dun po talaga nalalaglag ang loob ng aming mga pasyente--I want to save more lives. I want to keep my community safe," he said.
(What we did was to prepare an affidavit of consent, a 2-page document that our positive patients will read. There are 2 very critical statements there, which severely affects our patient--I want to save more lives. I want to keep my community safe.)
"Pag yan po ang nilagay nila kasama ang post - kasama po yan, kasi tinutulak namin i-track ang kanilang post sa kanilang sariling social media account - talaga pong maganda ang reception sa kanila ng netizens."
(If they included that in their post, which we encourage them to track their post in the social media account, netizens' reaction to them is positive.)
The Philippines as of Saturday reported 187,249 COVID-19 cases, with 114,921 recoveries and 2,966 deaths.