Philippines sounds call for contact-tracing volunteers


Posted at Sep 22 2020 09:22 AM

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The Philippines needs volunteers to locate and quarantine those who had close contact with coronavirus patients, an official leading the effort said Tuesday.

Ideally, a 4-person team with a health worker and a police investigator or intelligence agent should look into the interactions of every patient, said contact tracing czar Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

However, shortage in manpower has led to delays in contact tracing in some areas, including parts of Metro Manila, he said.

The interior department aims to train some 50,000 additional contact tracers.

"Malaking bagay iyong pag-recruit natin ng 50,000 na contact tracers. Pero kung tatanungin ninyo ako, is it enough? Hindi enough iyan, kukulangin tayo," Magalong told Teleradyo.

(Our recruitment of 50,000 contact tracers is a big help. But if I am asked, is this enough? No, it is not. We will still run short.)

"We need volunteers, cause-oriented groups na sa tingin nila meron silang critical thinking ability, iyong members may investigative mindset, hindi naman naghahanap ng suweldo. They can always volunteer," he added.

(We need volunteers, cause-oriented groups that have critical thinking ability and whose members have an investigative mindset and are not after a salary.)

In Baguio, almost half of the 564 coronavirus patients were found through contact tracing in which various non-government organizations volunteered, said the mayor.

TeleRadyo, Sept. 22, 2020