Baguio mayor, five-man team flying to infected Cebu to train contact tracers
BAGUIO CITY — Mayor Benjamin Magalong and a five-man team of contact-tracing experts are scheduled to fly on July 8 to Cebu City, which has been reeling from a massive spike in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections.
Baguio’s contact tracing methodology and its digital surveillance system will be shared with Cebu’s epidemiology teams and policemen, at the request of Police Brig. Gen. Albert Ignatius Ferro, Central Visayas police director, according to the Baguio public information office.
A key feature of the Baguio system is the use of police officers. Their skills in interviewing and tracking down people have become invaluable in locating residents who have interacted with COVID-19 patients, according to the city’s medical team.
The epidemiology team also convinces patients to reveal their identities to encourage their contacts to submit to tests and voluntary quarantine.
A member of the Baguio City Police Office and one non-uniformed personnel from the Cordillera Police Office will join three members of Baguio’s information technology division in Cebu, said Police Col. Allen Rae Co, Baguio police director.
The Baguio team will spend three days to train their counterparts.
As many as 634 volunteers take part in 20 contact tracing teams operating in the summer capital, which currently has three patients out of a total of 47 infections recorded since the lockdown.
As of Friday (July 3), Cebu City recorded 150 new infections, raising its total number of patients to 5,740, of which 2,562 are classified as active cases.
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