P11.7 billion needed to hire more DOH contact tracers
The Department of Health (DOH) would need at least P11.7 billion to hire additional contact tracers, or health workers tasked with tracking down the close contacts of people who have tested positive for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in an online media forum on Thursday.
The DOH needs to hire some 95,000 contact tracers to be able to reach the ideal ratio of one contact tracer for every 800 individuals, she said.
“We would need over 120,000 contact tracers based on the standard 1:800 ratio. We have an existing 38,000 and need 95,000 more. When we made our computations, with the proposed qualifications of contact tracers, we would be needing P11.7 billion in three months,” Vergeire said.
She added that the DOH was already working with the Department of the Interior and Local Government to “hire, train and utilize the contact tracers.”
Hiring contact tracers “en masse” is one of the actions that Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III had recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte as part of a phased easing of lockdown measures to revive an economy devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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