DOH OKs downsized contract tracing ratio of 1:10 in NCR
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Wednesday that at least 10 to 20 close contacts who should be traced for every coronavirus disease patient in Metro Manila would be sufficient for now.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire explained that the 1:37 ratio for close contacts who should be traced is not yet feasible in Metro Manila. The DOH’s ratio is a downsized figure from what was earlier suggested by the country’s contact tracing czar and Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, copying the contact tracing system in his city.
“Here in Metro Manila considering the resources and considering the different contact tracing teams across different cities and municipalities, we have estimated and computed that it can be that our local governments can just do 1:10 or 1:20 and it would be sufficient enough for now. We are still trying to assess if this 1:10 will be workable,” Vergeire told ABS-CBN News Channel.
According to Vergeire, local government units only trace an average of three to four persons for every COVID-19 patient previously.
“But if we increase it to 10 or maybe 20 in some localities, we will be able to have this appropriate number so we can somehow contain the transmission,” she said.
The official also noted that the 1:37 ratio was “appropriate” in Baguio City “because their system is in place.”
Vergeire said the 1:10 ratio was applied in Metro Manila instead during the modified enhanced community quarantine imposed in the region and four other provinces from August 4 to 18 “so that resources will be sufficient.”
She added that for now, this new ratio will be enough to deal with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila, the epicenter of the outbreak in the country.
“But of course in the future, in the next weeks, we are looking at increasing these numbers as well,” Vergeire said.
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