Philippines lowers COVID-19 contact-tracing standard

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 04 2021 05:07 PM

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The Philippines is lowering its standard for COVID-19 contact-tracing to a more “reasonable” ratio, an official leading the strategy said on Tuesday. 

Contact-tracing "czar" and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong earlier said authorities should locate at least 37 people exposed to every COVID-19 case. 

Last year, 4 to 5 contact-tracers could work together on a COVID-19 case. However, a surge in infections has forced contact-tracers to work on their own on up to 8 cases a day in some areas, said Magalong. 

As a result, contact-tracers on the average only locate about 4 people who had close contact with a COVID-19 patient.

The National Task Force Against COVID-19 has agreed to lower the standard ratio to 15 contacts for every patient, or less than half the original target. 

“We’re just trying to be realistic about it. Our previous standard is 1:37, hindi po talagang kayang gawin (it's not feasible),” he said in a public briefing. 

The Philippines has tallied 1,067,892 coronavirus infections, of which 66,060 were active as of Tuesday.