Cebu City deploys nearly 500 coronavirus contact tracers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 02 2020 11:59 AM | Updated as of Jul 02 2020 03:03 PM

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Cebu City is deploying 480 contact tracers to locate residents exposed to coronavirus patients, Mayor Edgardo Labella said Thursday, as the trading hub sought to contain a spike in cases of the respiratory disease. 

The 480 contact tracers will be divided into 80 teams that each have its own leader and 5 members, said Labella. 

"We have 80 barangays and we see to it that we can immediately contact-trace in our 80 barangays... Hopefully, there could be some medical practitioners to help these teams," he told ANC. 

Cebu City, home to 1 million people, is paying the contact tracers with its own resources and will "appreciate very much" any funding help from the national government, he said. 

The city has so far confirmed 5,596 cases of COVID-19. Of this figure, about 52 percent have already recovered, leaving 2,699 active cases, said Labella. 

Several factors contributed to the spike in cases, including outbreaks in illegal settlements where physical distancing is hard to enforce, and delays in the release of COVID-19 test results which used to take 2 to 3 weeks, said the mayor. 

With 4 accredited laboratories, the city can now run about 1,000 tests a day, with results out in 48 hours, he said. 

ANC, July 2, 2020