Cebu City deploys 80 teams of contact tracers, says mayor
MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City is deploying 80 teams of contact tracers to track persons who have come in close contact with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said on Thursday.
“We have endeavored to put up 80 teams of contact tracers. For each team, we endeavored to have at least six members. One head and five other members. Hopefully, there could be some medical practitioners to help these teams,” Labella said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel.
Labella said the city government is expanding its contact tracing capacity as the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in the city was extended until July 15.
“We created teams now and I am glad that I have the support of the national government, that we should see to it that we will have at least a thousand tests every day in the 80 barangays in the city,” he added.
According to Labella, Cebu City now has the capacity to release COVID-19 test results in just about 48 hours.
But while the ECQ in Cebu City has been extended, Labella touted the recovery rate in the city, which he said is even higher than the average recovery rate on the nationwide scale.
He said that of the 5,596 positive cases of COVID-19 in the city, a total of 2,897 patients have already recovered.
“The active cases now left are 2,699. By way of percentage, we can simply say that our recovery rate is 52 percent. Vis-a-vis the national recovery rate which is 27 percent, I think we have done quite good in so far as intervention in the recovery,” he said.
Labella also explained possible causes of the soaring COVID-19 figures in Cebu City, saying that the city government has been conducting targeted testing as early as the last week of March and has been practicing intensified contact tracing.
Aside from this, he added that barangays with informal settlers are among those that have the most number of confirmed cases of infection.
Labella further explained that the previously “not-so-efficient” testing capacity also contributed to the increase of COVID-19 cases in the city.
“The problem arose when the capacity to test at that time was somehow not so efficient because we test some residents and the result will come out in 2 weeks or 3 weeks after. So those found positive, because the results have not yet been released, were going out of the house,” he said.
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