COVID-19 contact tracing: ‘We have 87 to 88 % batting average’, says Año
MANILA, Philippines — Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año on Friday said that the government was able to detect 87 percent of the total COVID-19 cases in the country through contact tracing.
According to the DILG chief, 4,000 contact tracing teams or about 40,000 contact tracers are employed to ramp up efforts to stop the spread of the potentially deadly respiratory ailment. Of the number, about 150 contact tracing teams are assigned for Metro Manila – one of the so-called “high-risk” areas for virus transmission in Luzon.
“We have an 87 to 88 percent batting average meaning to say out of the total number of positive cases, 87 percent were traced through contact tracing and we are still, of course, intending to increase our batting average. We also increased the number of contact tracing all over the country,” Año said in an interview over ANC.
Contact tracers are health workers who identify individuals who came in close contact with people found positive for the novel coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19.
Año said the government is eyeing to hire more contact tracers who will be deployed in areas with recorded cases of COVID-19 infections.
“We will focus on areas where there are cases kung baga mag-fo-focus tayo dun. Hindi naman pwedeng every municipality and city, they have the same number of contact tracers if there are zero cases in those areas so we will focus on areas that there are new cases,” he said.
(We will focus on areas where there are cases. It does not mean that every municipality and city will have the same number of contact tracers if there are zero cases in those areas, so we will focus on areas where there are cases.)
Acting Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Karl Kendrick Chua previously said the government needs to hire 136,000 contact tracers to control the further spread of the new coronavirus disease.
The Department of Health, meanwhile, said the country is short of 94,000 contact tracers to achieve the World Health Organization’s ideal ratio of one contact tracer per 800 people.
As of Thursday, 15,588 people in the country have contracted COVID-19. Of which, 921 died while 3,598 managed to recover.
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